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June 2021 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
We'll return to the Ojai Valley Trail in Libbey Park on Sunday, June 13, for the fifth of six downtown Ojai Herb Walks in April, May and June. Click on the photo above or this link to read more and sign up for the June 13 walk. Photo: Lanny Kaufer
Okay. Maybe we won't be there for the sunset on June 19 but can you forgive me for wanting to use Bryant Baker's exquisite photo of the late afternoon in the mixed conifer forest on Pine Mountain? Click on the photo or this link to join us for the annual Summer Solstice Nature Hike on the Reyes Peak Trail.
Join me, Rondia, and the night owls for a late evening Full Moon Sunset Nature Hike on Thursday, June 24. The moon will rise over Black Mountain as in this photo by Joe P. Powers. Click on the photo or this link to read about this unique and special experience.
The last in the spring series of Ojai Herb Walks will take place at Cluff Vista Park, a native plant demonstration garden in downtown Ojai, on Sunday, June 27. Click on the photo or this link for info and registration. Photo: Doc Pierce
Herb Walks
One of the interpretive signs at Cluff Vista Park,
Ojai Herb Walks
This spring's Sunday Herb Walks in downtown Ojai are wrapping up this month. On June 13 we'll visit historic Libbey Park and on June 27 we'll go to Cluff Vista Park, a native plant demonstration garden designed by renowned Ojai landscape architect Tom Bostrom. Both places are easy walks, wheelchair-accessible, and are home to many useful plants that can grow in Southern California landscapes.
Read more about the series at this link or sign up for individual walks in the Herb Walks Events schedule above.
After June 15 I will retire my COVID-19 Prevention Plan
With California scheduled to fully reopen the economy on June 15 and Ventura County now in the yellow tier, I will be removing my bandana and retiring my COVID-19 Prevention Plan, beginning with the Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain on June 19. Photo: Sonya Yamaguchi
Artwork: Pacha Maia (
"Relatives with Roots" free for children ages 8-11
The Ojai Valley Green Coalition is offering local Ojai kids ages 8-11 an innovative new program called "Relatives with Roots: Arts & Education in the Natural World." I'm honored to be one of the presenters along with Chumash elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie and artist Vera Long. The program is free of charge, thanks to several grants. Three sessions are still accepting enrollment. Beginning June 19,  each consists of two consecutive Saturday classes from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Cluff Vista Park in downtown Ojai. Click on the image above or this link to learn more and register your child.
Click on the image to read the report.
New California Wildfire Report
The Environment Now Foundation recently released a new wildfire report, From the Home Outward: Lessons from California for Federal Wildfire Policy, which details strategies for mitigating risks to communities while recognizing the important role fire plays in many of California’s unique ecosystems. The report’s sections were co-authored by various fire scientists, ecologists, and conservationists, including two friends of Herb Walks: Los Padres ForestWatch’s conservation director, Bryant Baker, and California Chaparral Institute's Richard Halsey.
Artemisia Academy's new outdoor course
We are fortunate to have two excellent local herb schools. One is Carol Wade's Ojai School of Herbal Studies where the next 22-month session begins in September. The other is Artemisia Academy of Herbal Arts & Healing in Santa Barbara where Emily Sanders is offering a new outdoor course, "Intro to Plant Identification and Ecosystems," that will meet once a week for 6 weeks beginning July 21.
My first book is due to be published by Falcon Guides on November 1. Cover photo of white sage by Jess Starwood
Medicinal Herbs of California is due out on November 1
I'm in the last phase of reviewing the copy-edited manuscript for my book, Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants. It's due to be published by Falcon Guides on November 1, 2021. The first-of-its-kind statewide field guide to more than 70 common medicinal plants of California, the book includes principles of herbal remedies, history and roots in native cultures, current scientific information, and how to find and incorporate medicinal plants into daily life. 
The guide features 200 color photos for positive identification and nearly the same number of citations to references supporting the scientific information for those who wish to dig deeper.
It's available for pre-order now on my website at this link. If you decide to buy one now or at some point in the future -- and would like a signed copy -- please purchase from me. Also, quite frankly, I can earn a few dollars from the sale if you buy it direct. If you do end up buying it on Amazon and you like it, please write a review. Good ones are worth their weight in gold.
Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trails, campgrounds, winter road closures and more. Good news! Pine Mountain Road to the Reyes Peak Trail is open again after winter closure. We're going back up there on June 19. See the Herb Walks Events schedule for details.
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