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August 2019 HerbWalks &
OjaiHerbal Newsletter

The July full moon rose in the east at its appointed time while the sun set in the west. An enthusiastic group was there to take it all in. We're doing it again! See the calendar and article below for details, including the "after-party" at Azu Restaurant.  Photo: Kristin Bates
Deep in the cool and peaceful Giant Chain Fern Grotto at Arroyo Hondo Preserve, just one of several unique and special habitats there. We're going back on September 7 to try to find some pears still hanging on the 200-year-old "Padre Pear."  Photo: Robin Kent
Herb Walks Events
Purple Sage on the trail to the moonrise vista point. April, 2019.  Photo: Sandy Milone
ENCORE: Sunset Moonrise Herb Walk: Wednesday, August 14

On Wednesday evening, August 14, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., I will continue what has become a fun and popular new monthly activity. I’ll lead an Herb Walk up to a vista point above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the simultaneous sunset and moonrise. Following the walk is an optional visit to Ojai Valley Brewery at Azu Restaurant to sample native plant infused beers.

From the trailhead we’ll gradually walk about 1 mile to the vista point, stopping along the way to meet some valuable native plants. Then, at 9:00 we're off to Azu Restaurant and Ojai Valley Brewery where Jeremy Haffner has created some truly delicious lager-style craft beers and ales using some of the same local plants we just met on the trail.

No pre-payment required. Read more and register at
this link

Click on the image above to learn more about this opportunity.

Free 1-Hour Virtual 
Event with David Crow

Renowned herbalist and acupuncturist David Crow will deliver the Saturday keynote on "Prana and Qi: Homeostasis and the Wisdom of the Body in Classical Asian Medicine" at the Ojai Herbal Symposium on November 16. Later that day and the next he will present  "Combining Herbs & Essential Oils, Parts1 & 2." See the article on the Symposium further on.

Now you can jump-start your learning with him on these topics by enrolling in a free 1-hour virtual event entitled 
"Ayurvedic Use of Essential Oils for Healing with David Crow." Just click on that link to get started.
The "Padre Pear," seen here July 20, was planted in 1820 and still bearing fruit!  Photo: Robin Kent
ENCORE: Arroyo Hondo Preserve Herb Walk & Native Plant 
Sale on Saturday, September 7

This place is amazing! The lushness of the landscape and the sheer diversity of plants and plant communities at the Preserve are exceptional. So we’re going back one more time this year, hoping to find a few pears still hanging on the 200-year-old(!) “Padre Pear” tree.


In the creekside riparian habitat we’ll see a wide array of Southern California native trees. In the sunnier sage scrub and chaparral areas, native Toyon, Black Sage, Coastal Sagebrush and Greenbark Ceanothus are thriving. The Preserve is also home to California Newts, California Tree Frogs, Gray Foxes, numerous birds and other wildlife.


After some easy walking, identifying plants, and stopping for a lunch break, we’ll head for the pond to see if any newts spent the summer there. Then we’ll regroup at 3:30 at the parking lot for a direct-from-the-grower, native plant sale hosted by Santa Barbara Natives (SBN), a nearby native plant nursery founded by Arroyo Hondo Preserve manager John Warner.

No pre-payment required. Read more and register at this link.

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page on Facebook and follow me on Instagram

Other Local Events
Photo: Bryant Baker of Los Padres ForestWatch

Trump Administration Proposes Major Rollback of Environmental Regulations for National Forests

Recently, two commercial logging projects were approved across 4.5 square miles of the Los Padres National Forest. The Trump Administration’s proposed changes would facilitate more of these types of activities over larger areas without robust environmental review.

The public has until August 12 to submit comments on the proposed regulatory changes. Los Padres ForestWatch has more information and a simple way to submit public comments online at

I submitted mine with their easy-to-use form. Please join me! The forest needs you to speak up for it.
Early-bird tickets on sale now for the Ojai Herbal Symposium: Nov. 16-17!
The website is up, registration is open, and tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual Ojai Herbal Symposium on Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17. You can save $50 with the early-bird price through September 30!

This year's theme is “The Wisdom of the Body,” borrowed from the title of Walter Cannon’s classic 1932 physiology textbook on homeostasis. Our elite group of presenters reflect a wide spectrum of medical and healing communities. They will bring verifiable science and years of clinical experience to the discussion of medicinal herbs for use in helping our bodies maintain a healthy balance.


In addition to two full days of talks at beautiful Krotona Hall, the weekend also will feature three satellite events: the Herbal Marketplace at Chaparral Auditorium in downtown Ojai, the PhytoPhunk Dance and Elixir Bar, and “The Forest Table: A Wild Food Dining Experience."

Volunteer positions are available in exchange for full or partial admission. Vendor applications are welcome for the Herbal Marketplace. And, once again we're offering CEUs for Acupuncturists.

Find out all the details and get your early-bird tickets at this link.

Click the link in the article below for the latest updates on the Ojai Ranger District.

Los Padres National Forest Updates
Here is a link to the USFS Ojai Ranger Distict webpage with the latest info on trail and road closures, fire restrictions, etc. Hikers: bookmark it for easy reference before heading for the hills.
Salt & Straw staff in Ojai foraging invasive Sweet Fennel. They've created another new flavor with it.
A new Ojai fennel flavor from Salt & Straw ice cream
In the July newsletter I described taking the founder and staff of Salt & Straw Ice Cream on an Herb Walk in the hills above Ojai to forage for flavors for their camping-inspired summer menu. I included a link to my HerbBlog post about their visit and the Wild Fennel Amaro Milk-Sorbet they created.

Now this innovative company has come up with another flavor based on their Ojai foraging trip: Green Fennel & Maple Ice Cream. You can read about it at this link and maybe you're even lucky enough to live near one of their shops where you can actually taste it. FYI: they also offer shipping on dry ice.

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