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Just one of 24 walks and hikes I offered in 2016, our annual summer escape from Ojai to the Seaside Wilderness Park was a hit this year. Besides enjoying the sun and ocean breeze, we identified and discussed 33 plants! (Photo by Enrique Villaseñor)
November-December 2016 Newsletter
Lanny with forager extraordinaire Pascal Baudar at the Foraging Walk and Priimitive Herbal Brewing workshop in April of this year. (Photo by Steven Toscher)
Thank you for a great year!
By every measure, 2016 was a success for me and my Herb Walks mission. I led and co-led 24 walks and hikes, gave several slideshow talks, taught a class for CSUCI's OLLI Institute, collaborated with some of the top professionals in their fields, and, most importantly, spent time on the trail meeting or reconnecting with the wonderful people like you who attended my events.

As I head into my annual holiday break from Herb Walks, I'll use this newsletter to share various pieces of information that I hope will enrich your understanding and appreciation of native plants and their uses.

Thank you for your support and participation. I'll start up again in February of 2017.

Happy holiays,

The latest addtiion to the bookstore is one I know you will want in your library and backpack.
California Foraging is now in the Herb Walks Bookstore
I'm in love! No, don't freak out, Rondia. I'm in love with this book. It's so well-organized and full of accurate information including:
  • An A to Z guide for foraging year-round
  • Detailed descriptions for safe identification
  • Suggestions for sustainable harvesting and wild food gardens
  • Tips on preparation and use

Over 120 plants are illustrated with 200 color plates. I consider Judith Larner Lowry's book a must-have for every forager's basic library.

I'm so excited to share it with you that I'm offering a 10%-off coupon to my readers for this title and anything else in your shopping cart! Please consider purchasing it from me so that I can continue to offer these handpicked selections by mail or on the table we set up before each walk.

Read more and buy it here in time for the holidays.

Ron Singer and Lanny as seen in Robert Barrett's video at the OVLC Native Plant Nursery
Video series visits OVLC
Ventura-based videographer Robert Barrett, creator of the Gardens of Ventura County, a public television program seen on Channel 6 in Ventura,
turned his camera's eye toward drought tolerant gardening with a new 3-part series hosted by yours truly.

On a recent visit to the Ojai Meadows Preserve, I interviewed Ron Singer, nursery manager of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy's Native Plant Nursery, and Brian Stark, execitive director of the OVLC.

You can see all three episodes at Robert's companion website where many videos about commercial and home gardening, community gardens, and local botanical gardens can be viewed, along with links to all of the companies and non-profit organizations featured on the program who support his show.

The home page explains how to sponsor a video or have one shot at your garden or business.
Now here's an original gift idea!
Thinking of giving a Gift Certificate?
Are you looking for gifts for those special people in your life who would appreciate an Herb Walk or Nature Hike? With one of my Gift Certificates, there's a very good chance you won't have to worry that someone else already got them the same present.

Visit this page to learn more and order some in time for the holidays.
�� These are
a few of
my favorite
links ��
I'm using my holiday break to catch up on some reading and research in my reference library as well as online. Here are few of my favorite go-to links:

Jepson eFlora is quite simply "the foremost authority on the native and naturalized vascular plants of California."

CalPhotos:Plants has 301,557 searchable images of California plants ......and counting.

Ojai Valley Land Conservancy's Planting and Watering Guide for California Native Plants.

This collection of Wilderness Way articles on Chumash Healing by Dr. James Adams and Cecilia Garcia is the place to go for further reading on what you've learned from Jim's medicinal plant walks.
Trails to the Pine Fire burn area are expected to open soon.
Local Forest Service news

Here's the latest news from the Ojai Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest, courtesy of Wilderness/Trails Mgr. Heidi Anderson.

Trails Update
Trails leading into the PIne Fire burn area are still closed at this time but expected to open soon. In anticipation of that, a volunteer crew will install signs like the one above on the Gene Marshall - Piedra Blanca Trail on Sunday, November 27.

Road Closures

The following roads will be closed on Dec 16th for the seasonal closures:

  • Dough Flat (at Tar Creek)
  • Nordhoff Ridge
  • Cherry Creek
  • Reyes Peak (AKA Pine Mtn)

If a large storm is due, the roads may close earlier.

Backcountry water report - October 21. Click on the image:

Native Plant Butterfly Gardens
Dogface on Manzanita (Photo: California Chaparral Institute)
With the first winter rain approaching as I write this, I'm reminded that now is the time to plant native plants so that they can benefit from the precious precipitation. You can achieve an added benefit by using flowering plants that attract butterflies.

Most of you are aware that our native Milkweed is the host for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Just keep in mind that the caterpillars will devour the plant, which is what you want them to do if you are trying to increase Monarch population. On the other hand, there are many plants that are food plants (providing nectar) but that are not host plants (providing leaves).

Las Pilitas Nursery has several pages on their website devoted to butterflies. Start here.
Have you "liked" my Facebook page & visited the HerbWalks Bookstore
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