OJAI o7 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide
Cover Photo: Crystal Corner Store • 805-272-8402 • TheCrystalCornerOjai.com • See Page 28 For More Information
Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM
DEL ORO ARCHITECTURAL This architectural gem was designed by Zelma Wilson, a trailblazing Ojai architect. The park-like lot is extremely quiet, private, and walking distance from town. The house was designed to rest organically among the majestic oak trees and native boulders, where expansive windows draw light and the beautiful natural surroundings into every room. High ceilings and an open, ﬂowing ﬂoorplan create an inviting spaciousness throughout the house. An enclosed porch with large operable windows, has spectacular views of the garden and creates an additional 200sqft of indoor/outdoor living. The oversize garage has windows, a surf shower and a bathroom. A separate studio space could easily be converted into an ADU. The property includes a chicken coop, gardening shed, and a whole house water softening/ﬁlter system. 909DelOroDrOjai.com
Offered at $2,750,000
PAT T Y WALTCHER
25 years matching people and property in the Ojai Valley
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BRILLIANT CONTEMPORARY This completely renovated, contemporary home on nearly 3 gated acres has fabulous 360 degree views and is totally reﬁned in every detail. From the organic interior layout to the cultivated surrounding environment, everything has been ﬁnished with the highest quality materials. High ceilings, windows, and open, connected spaces create a light, airy atmosphere while extensive use of natural materials makes the home feal earthy and warm. The kitchen is a chef’s dream, with amazing views, gorgeous marble counters and wood cabinets. A covered outdoor entertainment area features a fabulous ﬁreplace and a ﬁnished garage could easily be converted into an ADU. The beautifully landscaped grounds include a stone labyrinth, cobblestone driveway, and mature avocado, citrus and olive trees. 2100MaricopaOjai.com
Offered at $3,150,000
PAT T Y WALTCHER
pattywaltcher.com OM — July 2021
YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT YOUR HOME SELLING PLANS ON HOLD unless you want to. People are actively buying homes from a distance. We are open for business and here to help you!
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Lynn Goodman 805.573.5927
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Check out this gorgeous 2.03 acre parcel in Rancho Matilija, a quiet community located on the west end of town. Build your custom home, bring your horses, and enjoy direct access to the horse/biking/hiking trails. You’ll enjoy gorgeous sunsets, and if you’re up early in the day, stunning sunrises as well!
668 Spring Street, Oak View - $549,000
Enjoy light and bright beach vibes in this recently renovated bungalow! Perfectly situated between Ventura and Ojai, this stylish home is less than 10 miles to the Ventura Pier. Lovingly maintained and move-in ready with central air, fresh paint, newer stainless appliances, and numerous skylights.
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330 N. La Luna Ave., Ojai
836 Monte Vista, Santa Paula
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OM — July 2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS JULY 2021
Calendar of Events
Featured Pros: Stefano & Tammi Bernardi of Osteria Monte Grappa
Homebuyers’ Common Mistakes
20 Five Ways to Wise Up on Water Use 21
Ojai Founding Fathers & Mothers
Who’s Who in Real Estate
Dine Ojai — Restaurant Guide
Chef Randy: Bruschetta, Favored Flavors
Top Hikes Into Ojai’s Backcountry
Editor & Publisher / Bret Bradigan Uta Ritke / Creative Director David Taylor / Sales Manager Liz Spiller / Social Media Manager Ross Falvo / Distribution Manager Cover: The Crystal Corner, Ojai Contact Us: 805.798.0177 email@example.com The contents of the Ojai Monthly may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. 6
OJAI o7 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide
29 Cover Photo: Crystal Corner Store • 805-272-8402 • TheCrystalCornerOjai.com • See Page 28 For More Information
July OM.indd 1
Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM
6/25/21 3:34 PM
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THE EVENTS HORIZON "I will never be old. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am." — Francis Bacon
As AJ Davis-Varela’s timely column (page 20) so presciently points out, we are deep into a drought that has brought below normal precipitation eight of the past 10 years, including the mega-drought of 2012206. It is a standing feature of California’s climate — the erratic nature of rain. Add in a global pandemic that still rages in some parts of the world, and you have the cocktail of dread and anxiety. But with the state generally re-opened since June 15, we are feeling our way back to normal. While I did miss the social connections, the pandemic confirmed my suspicion that I am an introvert; or on the continuum about 60 percent introvert to 40 percent extravert. The masks are off and the event planners and organizers are off to the races. The months of isolation also confirmed my conclusion that I’m getting old — and that the pace of aging is hastening. I’m one generation away from dread childhood diseases like whooping cough and diptheria, two generations away from my grandfather’s substinence farm and three generations away from human bondage. On the other side of the ledger, to be fair, I feel young when Taylor Swift’s two pandemic albums, ‘‘evermore’’ and ‘‘folkmore,’’ were collaborations with my favorite band, The National. I also feel young when I can’t wait for new seasons of ‘‘Rick & Morty’’ and ‘‘What We Do in the Shadows.’’ There’s a certain age when you can hold these strange and contradictory facts in an equipoise. And Ojai life may enhance and extend that balance. This is a place that promotes a youthful vigor, both physically and intellectually. By contrast with say, nearby towns like Montecito, we’re much younger if not in age than in attitude. By contrast with Ventura, (a city I love) I could make an argument that we are more sophisticated — the Ojai Music Festival comes to mind. And more sporty than Camarillo or Thousand Oaks - Ojai Tennis Tournament, anyone? So the news that the Ojai Music Festival will present a full slate of programming September 16-19 is so heartening. The peerless John Adams will be this year’s music director and he’s bringing to Libbey Bowl rising stars of the contemporary music world, a symbolic passing of the baton. Rhiannon Giddens, the music world’s adventurer and chronicler, is sure to light up the weekend with her star wattage and talent. And the Ojai Storytelling Festival, celebrating the ancient art of narrative, links us back to humanity’s common sources. It will be a hot, dry summer, but at least we’ve got world class events to look forward to. So as we see each other about town, let’s remember those dark months of isolation and never again take for granted the joys of connection and community. If ever there was a fountain of youth, this might be it.
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(805) 798-2158 | HEARTLOANS@SBCGLOBAL.NET | HEARTLOANS.COM 236 W. OJAI AVE., SUITE 105, OJAI CA 93023 This licensee is performing acts for which a real estate license is required. C2 Financial Corporation is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate, Broker # 01821025; NMLS # 135622. Loan approval is not guaranteed and is subject to lender review of information. All loan approvals are conditional and all conditions must be met by borrower. Loan is only approved when lender has issued approval in writing and is subject to the Lender conditions. Specified rates may not be available for all borrowers. Rate subject to change with market conditions. C2 Financial Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Mortgage Broker/Lender. BRE #01048403 NMLS #298981
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in the Ojai Valley! Host your Summer event at a venue like no other, Unique Programs
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OM — July 2021
JULY CALENDAR OF EVENTS WEEKLY
Certified Farmers Market
Jean Metzinger @ canvas and paper
EVERY DAY Farmer & The Cook Location: 339 West El Roblar Avenue, Meiners Oaks Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This popular farm-to-kitchen destination has reopened, with usual precautions in place to reduce exposure to coronavirus.
Every Sunday Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: 805-698-5555 Location: Matilija Street city parking lot behind the Arcade. Open air market featuring locally grown produce, as well as plants, musicians and handmade items.
Sergio Aragonés, photo by Myrna Cambianica
MAY 27 – JULY 25 “Paintings by Jean Metzinger” Times: Thursday – Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. Location: canvas and paper, 311 North Montgomery Street Contact: canvasandpaper.org canvas and paper is a non-profit exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits.
Parade at 10 a.m. on July 3rd Fireworks Show at Nordhoff Stadium, gates open at 5:30 p.m., Fireworks show at or about 9:15 p.m. Locations: Libbey Bowl, Ojai Avenue & Nordhoff Stadium Contact: 4thofJulyinOjai.com Fireworks tickets are available at Attitude Adjustment, prices are $5 for children and $10 for adults with family prices as well.
JULY 16 “Downtown Ojai — Third Friday” Time: 5 to 7 p.m. 336 East Ojai Avenue Ojai’s monthly free Third Friday Event Series offers a chance to experience conversations with local artists, light refreshments, and live music at downtown art venues. Many stores stay open late with special events and shopping.
JUNE 25 – JULY 18 “Family Furniture” Time: 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Location: The Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: ojaiact.org or call 805-640-8797 The Art Center will present the beloved and provocative A. R. Gurney play, starring Benjamin Wilson, Buddy Wilds, KiSea Katikka, Ashley Osler. and Amber Shea Hodge, directed by Tom Eubanks. There will be no performance on July 4th. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 seniors and AC members, $10 for those under 25.
JULY 9 “The Expandards & Jamie Drake” Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Location: Ojai Valley Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue The Ojai Valley Museum and the Ojai Underground Exchange present an outdoor concert at the museum featuring Expandards, and Jamie Drake. Enjoy a wonderful evening of music under the stars for the whole family. Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and Isaac Koren are the Expandards. They will be singing songs from the Great American Songbook. Also performing will be folk artist Jamie Drake. Bring the whole family for the first concert of the season at the museum. Dinner by La Fuente is included. Tickets $35 each, children under 12 free. Underwritten by Tracy Albert and Carey Appel.
THURSDAYS “Ojai: Talk of the Town” Podcast New episodes come out Thursday evenings through OjaiHub.com newsletter. Sign up at OjaiHub.com. Recent interviews include Malcolm McDowell on the 50th anniversary of “A Clockwork Orange,” and Sergio Aragonés of Mad Magazine fame. Available wherever you catch your podcasts.
JULY 2-4 “Fourth of July Weekend Celebrations” Times: Libbey Bowl concert at 6 p.m. on July 2nd,
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STAY TUNED Tierra Sol Institute’s “Muses on the Mount” The institute is curating shows for the benefit of Meditation Mount, which recently re-opened its doors after the Thomas Fire. Recent Muses on the Mount performances included RyX, Orpheo and Rachel McCord, and also painter Vera Long and sound bowl artists Trinity of Sound. Contact: To be notified of Summer events, go to tierrasolojai.org and meditationmount.org. 11
SARAH HOWERY HART
OSTERIA MONTE GRAPPA
Talking Food: Chef Stefano Bernardi and wife Tammi Bernardi If any business had to prove its resilience during the pandemic, it was restaurants. It especially hit hard for Stefano and Tammi Bernardi of Osteria Monte Grappa (OMG) because Stefano’s family is from northern Italy, where early covid-19 outbreaks in the early spring of 2020 dominated headlines. “During the beginning of the pandemic, we were in disbelief,” said Tammi Bernardi. “We didn’t know what to make of this virus spreading through China and making its way to northern Italy. This is the area where Stefano was born and we still have many family members and friends there.” As it became clear that the virus was becoming a pandemic, with 12
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borders closing and restaurants’ capacity being reduced, “we started to get nervous. We started serving strictly outside, and finally we went just to take out. How could we make this work?” the Bernardis said. Fortunately, many of their front-of-house and kitchen staff wanted to continue working, “so that became our new takeout crew ... that was not the norm at Osteria Monte Grappa but we found a system that worked for us and moved forward with just takeout.” The Bernardis said “this would not have been possible without the Help of Ojai and their Great Plates program.
STEFANO BERNARDI, CENTER WITH TAMARA (TAMMI) RIGHT, WITH FORMER CHEF CIXTO CHAVEZ, LEFT
Each week they partnered with local restaurants to provide meals for elderly and high-risk residents of Ojai. This was a wonderful program that kept my entire staff afloat for more than a year,” Tammi Bernardi said. Coming from a family line of restaurateurs originating in northern Italy, it seems natural that Stefano Bernardi would follow that culinary path. It began with his grandmother, who owned a small osteria. After the family moved to California, his brother opened two restaurants in Montecito, Via Vai and Pane e Vino, where Bernardi bused tables. He eventually took over as manager, then moved to Ojai more than a decade ago with his wife, Tammi, to open their own restaurant, Osteria Monte Grappa. It also meant a new
influence in his culinary life, Ojai’s farm-to-table loving atmosphere. Now Bernardi creates the perfect fusion of his two countries, two cultures, and two ways of looking at cuisine. Ojai Monthly: It appears that your family’s history with food and restaurants in Italy played a significant role in your own life both in Italy and in the United States. Stefano Bernardi: My grandfather was a farmer in Italy, but my grandparents moved to California after the San Francisco earthquake (1906) to help rebuild the city. Then, they returned to Italy, where my grandmother ran a little osteria in the 1920s. That kind of started the family tradition. OM — July 2021
My brother, Pietro, started working at a restaurant as a waiter, then as a bartender and in the kitchen. He was only 24 when he opened his first restaurant. He has Via Vai, and our family owns Pane e Vino also. I started working in my brother’s restaurant when I was 13. OM: When did you first seriously consider becoming a chef? SB: My family also owned the San Francisco Pane e Vino, so then I lived there during much of the ‘90s. That was my first management position. I worked in the front of house, but spending so much time in a restaurant, you also spend a lot of time with the chef. I started going back into the kitchen and working with Chef Bruno Quercini, who is now a partner there, and I enjoyed that part of the business because of the creativity. OM: When did you decide to move to Ojai, and why? SB: I was again working in Montecito with my brother, and married to Tammi, now. We had two small children, and the Santa Barbara area seemed to be getting a little too big for us. We had talked about having a restaurant, and I was very involved with the menus in Montecito. My wife was also very involved; she has a great palate. So, we thought the move to Ojai would be a great time to open our own restaurant. We saw that 2009 was kind of a rough time for restaurants, but our first location on Signal Street was a good size for us to start with. OM: Did you also have formal training? SB: No formal cooking classes. This is all what I picked up and tried and researched, all on my own. My wife, too. She’s a very good cook and is also an executive chef. She’s very good on flavors. OM: How does your Monte Grappa team work together? SB: My day starts at Earthtrine Farm with owner, BD Dautch, and I work with Rio Gozo Farm, too. The owner there, John (Fonteyn), and I text back and forth. He tells me what’s looking good for the week. The way I build a menu, then, is according to what is happening on the farms that day — it’s like those cooking shows on TV, where the chef contestants have to cook using a basket of surprise ingredients I try to work with seafood the same way. We get fresh and local calamari, prawns and right now some rockfish. Using these is like one of those cooking shows, too. We go through all of the fresh foods we bring back, and say, “This would be good with that.” We create our daily specials menu this way. OM: How does your northern Italian heritage impact the menu at Monte Grappa? SB: Northeastern Italian food is my background, but at Monte Grappa we’ve kind of moved away from that. We’re concentrating on the farm-to-table concept of cooking now, and if I were to follow a recipe from northern Italy, the farm-to-table aspect might not work, so we’ve changed. 14
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I guess you could say we’re a farm-to-table restaurant with an Italian flare. OM: We hear that you make a lot of your sauces in an Italian wood-burning pizza oven. SB: Yes, we brought in a wood-burning oven from Italy. It uses 100 percent oak, no gas involved, and we do much more than pizza in there, including our sauces. For instance, we put our tomatoes, cut in half with herbs and seasonings, on a tray, put them in the pizza oven for just a few minutes so they get a little char on them. Then we take them out and make the sauce. OM: What other uses does the pizza oven have? SB: We’ll finish off a lot of plates in that oven. We do our Filetto de Manzo al Montello in there, the roasted beef tenderloin steak, sliced and topped with truffled mushroom sauce. And our Gambe e coscie Di Gallina Al Crespanse, which is fresh chicken legs and thighs, roasted, with local vegetables and potatoes in fresh tomato and garlic broth. OM: What are your customers’ favorites? SB: It all goes back to the pasta, especially the Agnolotti Della Casa, which is our homemade ravioli stuffed with braised beef, prosciutto, mushrooms and mozzarella. People come back for it over and over. We use Italian cheeses and local Watkins beef, so again, there is the blend of different worlds coming together. OM: And, your wines? Are they all from Italy? SB: The Monte Grappa wine selection is very similar to what we’ve been talking about with the food. Mostly the wine is from Italy or the Ojai Valley, like Noble Oaks, with only a few from other areas of California. We pride ourselves on using the local products, along with some great classic choices from Italy. We have a lot of wines from my family’s region, but also a good selection of Tuscan wines. OM: So you blend the new and the old and familiar? SB: It’s the same as the way we’re fusing two cultures. Most of our products are local, but I still get products from Italy, such as Italian prosciutto, Italian cheeses. Working with two regions is a very nice fit. Fusion is a very positive word, a positive idea, and I’m constantly finding new dishes that will fuse Italy with Ojai. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but there’s something from Ojai in every bite at Osteria Monte Grappa. Thanks to the vaccinations, we are finally able to open to full capacity. We have found that the public is embracing the restaurant industry after the terrible setbacks of the past year and a half. It is amazing to see all of the faces we have not seen in quite some time. We are also grateful, and humbled to bounce back into action! (Osteria Monte Grappa, 242 East Ojai Ave. Ojai, 805-6406767 www.omgojai.com) Portions of this interview originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Ojai Monthly, written by Sarah Howery Hart.
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WOW, Sitting on over three acres in the prestigious Persimmon Hill area of downtown Ojai. This five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom sprawling ranch-style home showcases open-beamed vaulted ceilings, a stunning great room with a massive brick fireplace, formal dining room, hardwood floors and a large master suite. The magical meandering pathways will lead you to an Artist’s studio where you can once again find your creative soul. Living off the grid is easy with your own private well and solar panels. This slice of Country living offers a prime location all within walking distance to Libbey Park, shops, restaurants, and the Ojai Bike/Hike Trail. Horses welcome.
There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours.
Views! Views! Views! Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in Skyline Estates, this lovely home is waiting for you. The great room has a double sided fireplace, vaulted wood ceilings and is open and spacious with plenty of windows to enjoy the majestic mountains. The kitchen has lovely granite countertops, a large island and an eat-in bar area. There are french doors that lead out to a private backyard with stunning mountain views where you will enjoy the evening sunsets. Watch the early morning sunrises out by the pool in the front yard. Private and quiet you will feel like you are on top of the world.
Beautiful, flat useable lot, just under an acre located in the City of Ojai. great views from this lot. Zoned commercial — come build your dream!
If you are looking for a quintessential downtown cottage with a guest house ... then look no more. Located in the heart of downtown Ojai.
w w w. D o n n a S a l l e n . c o m D o n n a 4 re m a x @ a o l .c o m
Located in the Golden West neighborhood of Ojai downtown, this incomegenerating home is very warm and welcoming. The backyard is a gardener’s delight.
Buying Blunders Five Common Mistakes of a First-Time Home Buyer By Therese A. Hartmann
I just closed escrow today with a firsttime home buyer who needed a lot of hand-holding, something I enjoy doing. While there were some extraneous hurdles I had to deal with (agent out of the country, borrower unsure because of family pressures, etc.) there are some very common errors that can be navigated around if one is aware. So, let’s get right to it: Mistake #1: Looking for A Home Before Getting Pre-Approved When you shop for a home before approval, you run the risk of falling in love with a home that’s out of your price range --ruining the whole home buying experience before you start. Remedy? Meet with a qualified lender first. Mistake #2: Buying More Than You Can Comfortably Afford Many falsely believe that the loan amount they are approved for accurately depicts how much home they can afford to purchase. BUT, the income and the debt-toincome ratio data that lenders use to determine eligibility doesn’t take into account your monthly expenses like groceries, utilities, gas, or insurance. Instead, use the amount you’re preapproved for as a starting point for calculating your actual “home-owning” budget. Mistake #3: Draining Your Savings for A Down Payment Don’t be tempted 18
to drain your savings to come up with enough money to put down on a home either! You’ll have unexpected costs that come with owning a home, trust me. If you don’t have money set aside to handle these expenses, you put yourself in a significant financial predicament that could cause you to be unable to keep up with your house payments. With interest rates so low, it might be a better investment to put less down and take care of repairs. Mistake #4: Forgetting About Moving Costs With everything involved in buying the house, many first-time homebuyers oversee the moving expenses. So when you start looking for a home, also start saving for moving costs -including packing materials, truck rental, labor and the chiropractic treatment you’ll need after! Mistake #5: Applying For Credit Before Closing Lenders don’t just check your credit during the prevapproval process but also just before your scheduled closing day. First-time homebuyers sometimes believe they should buy new furniture or a new car to go along with their new home. BIG WARNING…jumping into something that increases your debt load might end up having the lender saying no to your home loan. Additional debt can also affect your credit score so, when it OM — July 2021
comes to buying a home…don’t spend a dime until after the close of escrow! Now that you’re equipped with firsttime home buying tips and know what mistakes to avoid, let me help you get pre-approved and jump-start your home buying journey. Many happy customers can’t be wrong about us!
Therese A. Hartmann has 20 years’ lending experience. She is a Licensed Broker, California Dept. of Real Estate #01048403, NMLS # 298291, affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation. For a free consultation, call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.
Your Ojai life awaits in this 4,314 square-foot, 5-bedroom, 5-bath home amid the orange blossom-scented air of the legendary East End. With 2.38 acres, you’ve got plenty of room for gardens and projects. Perfect for entertaining and hosting friends and family in the guesthouse, cottages and writer’s studio, this two-story Victorian will open your sense of possibility and wonder.
Donna Sallen 805-798-0516 w w w. D o n n a S a l l e n . c o m D o n n a 4 re m a x @ a o l . c o m
There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours.
Five Water-Saving Tips for Ojai By Aimee Jo Davis-Varela
The megadrought engulfing California and much of the Western United States is showing no signs of letting up any time soon. This means that we all need to double down on our water conservation efforts and find new ways to reduce our residential usage. I have doled out a lot of water-saving tips in this column over the years, such as installing a pool cover, switching to high-efficiency appliances, adding a gray water system, catching shower water in a bucket, installing rain barrels, or replacing grass lawns with low-water alternatives. And now it looks like it is time to go over some more ideas. So, to help you level up on saving water, here are five more ways to conserve water at home. 1. Look for leaks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that ten percent of homes across the country have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day (EPA.gov). Some of the most common causes of these leaks are dripping faucets, toilet flappers that need to be replaced, or leaking valves. For most of my clients, when there is a water 20
leak, we almost always find it in the irrigation system, so I always tell folks to look there first. 2. Soak fruits and vegetables. Instead of running the faucet to wash fruits and vegetables, and then allowing that water to run down the drain, fill a bowl or a dishpan with enough water to cover the fruits and vegetables you need to wash. After soaking them, dunk them in another dishpan or bowl of water to rinse them. You may need to use a produce brush on some fruits and vegetables. Reuse the water to irrigate your garden or flush your toilet. 3. Use your dishwasher more. According to Treehugger, the average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per load, and the average Energy Star dishwasher uses just four gallons (treehugger.com). This is compared to an average flow of about two gallons per minute from your kitchen faucet. So, unless you can wash and rinse dishes really fast, you are better off running your dishwasher – even if it is not completely full.
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4. Focus on native plants. Native plants that thrive in the Ojai Valley without much help from humans are the best choice for gardens and landscaping. You can easily add a variety of textures and colors to your yard with flowering options that are drought-tolerant and require minimal care. Examples include California peony, stinging lupine, poppies, fiesta flowers, and bush mallow. You can see a full list or download a PDF guide to California native flowering plants on the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy website (OVLC.org). 5. Change out your toilets. If your toilet is decades old, you can save water just by updating to a modern one. You can save more by replacing it with a high-efficiency toilet. High-efficiency toilets use about 1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared to conventional toilets that can use as much as five to seven gallons every time you flush. If you are okay with letting yellow mellow, you can save even more water by using your toilet a few times between flushes when it is only liquid waste.
FOUNDING FATHERS & MOTHERS While Edward Drummond Libbey is rightfully regarded among Ojai’s chief benefactors — having been behind the building of such Ojai landmarks as the Ojai Valley Inn, St. Thomas Aquinas Church (now the Museum), Post Office Tower and the Arcade — others have been very influential in shaping Ojai’s identity. Here’s a few: Annie Besant. Free-thinker, feminist and noted Theosophist. Though she only spent a few days in Ojai, she brought Krishnamurti to Ojai, and helped buy hundreds of acres of property in Ojai, (now the sites of Besant Hill School and, along with A.P. Warrington, the Krotona Center) which she called “the smiling vale.” She is considered one of the pioneers of introducing Eastern mystical thought to the West, and was an early advocate of India’s independence. and the labor movement. Jiddhu Krishnamurti. The spiritual teacher and writer, came to Ojai in 1922, sponsored by the Theosophical Society, though he later broke with that group (“The Leaderless Path.”) He gave talks to many thousands of people each year, in the Star Camps in the oak groves west of Ojai (now the site of Oak Grove School. He once held the Guinness Book of World Records for having spoken to the greatest number of people.
Weather in Ojai Jan Feb March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Ave. High (°F) 67 67 70 74 78 83 89 91 87 80 73 66
Sherman Day Thacher. After coming West to farm and care for an ailing brother, the Yale-educated Thacher realized that he was going to need another source of income. So he founded The Thacher School in 1887. Now one of the most prestigious preparatory academies in the country, its founding creed was “teach a boy to ride, shoot and tell the truth.” Also, in 1896, his brother William founded “The Ojai,” the country’s oldest amateur tennis tournament. Among Thacher’s more illustrious students were industrialist, aviator and film producer Howard Hughes and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, who wrote his first play while a Thacher student.
OJAI QUICK FACTS:
Ave. Low 36 38 41 43 48 51 56 55 53 47 40 35
Precip. 5.04 5.24 3.35 1.22 .47 .12 .04 .005 .2 .98 1.69 2.95
Average Annual Rainfall:
Record High Year 115° 2018
Record Low Year 16° 1990
Beatrice Wood. The famed ceramicist’s (“The Mama of Dada”) greatest work of art may well have been her life. The irreverent, avant-garde Wood lived and worked in Ojai for decades until her death in 1998 at age 105. She inspired two classic movies, Francois Truffaut’s “Jules et Jim,” and James Cameron’s “Titanic.” She attributed her longevity to “chocolate and young men.” Her autobiography was appropriately titled, “I Shock Myself.” Many of her distinctive, whimsical, luminous luster-glazed pieces are on display at her former home, now the Beatrice Wood Center, in upper Ojai.
The name “Ojai” is believed to be derived from the Ventureño Chumash word ‘awhaý, meaning “moon.” In 1837, Fernando Tico received a land grant and established a cattle ranch. Thomas A. Scott, who had financial success with oil and railroads, bought the Ojai Valley in 1864 for oil exploration. By 1868, Scott, through his agent Thomas Bard, began selling properties to homesteaders. By 1874, R.G. Surdam plotted out the town he would call Nordhoff, renamed Ojai in 1917. Ojai is about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 30 miles east of Santa Barbara. The valley is about 10 miles long by 3 miles wide, surrounded by hills and mountains; the rare east-west orientation with a slight southward tilt gives the valley an extraordinary sun exposure; Ojai’s citrus and avocado crops are highly prized. This orientation also gives rise to Ojai as a spiritual destination. It was due to the resources and organizing energy of Ohio glass manufacturer Edward Drummond Libbey that Nordhoff was rebuilt and renamed Ojai, inspired by the City Beautiful Movement. By 1917, with the construction of the Arcade and Post Office Tower, the town took its present shape. The city’s self-styled nickname is “Shangri-La,” based on the story that Ojai was the backdrop (later left on the editing room floor) from the 1937 movie as the mystical sanctuary of James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon.” OM — July 2021
IN OJAI REAL ESTATE?
TO BE LISTED HERE, PLEASE CALL BRET @ 805-798-0177
Logan Hall Logan Hall Photography 805-798-0337 loganhallphotos. com
Clinton Haugan LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty 727 W. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023 C: (805) 760-2092 O: (805) 646-7288 firstname.lastname@example.org DRE# 02019604
Therese A. Hartmann is a local loan consultant affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation, and is a Licensed Broker, California BRE #01048403. NMLS # 298291. Call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.
Vivienne Moody LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-1099 vmoody10@ sbcglobal.net OjaiLifestyle.net
Larry Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde. com 805-640-5734
Kristen Currier LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-3757 thehoffgroup. com
Donna Sallen Remax Gold Coast Realtors Donna4Remax@aol.com DonnaSallen. com 805-798-0516
Amanda Stanworth LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Phone: 805-2188117 • E-mail: amandastanworth77@gmail. com Web: Rooney-Stanworth.com
Patty Waltcher LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Call me for your Real Estate needs. 805-340-3774
Team Deckert Keller Williams Realty Ray Deckert, Broker Associate ContactUs@ TeamDeckert. com 805-272-5218
Dale Hanson Ojai Valley Real Estate 211 E. Matilija Street, Ste. J, 206 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-7229 email@example.com
Ross Falvo Keller Williams Realty “The Ojai Real Estate Guy” RossFalvo.com 805-207-5094
Dennis Guernsey LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Nora Davis LIV Sotheby’s International Realty OjaiValleyEstates. com 805-207-6177
OM — July 2021
Erik Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde.com 805-830-3254
Don & Cheree Edwards RE/MAX Gold Coast Ojai’s Top Selling Team LivinginOjai.com 805.340.3192 805.350.7575
Kirk Ellison LIV Sotheby’s International Realty KirkEllison@ me.com 805-340-5905
Hildegard Tallent CalBRE# 02047013 Keller Williams Realty, 109 N. Blanche Street Tel: 805-7981872 email: hildegard.tallent@ kw.com
locally owned and operated magazines.
By nationally award-winning writers and photographers.
OjaiHub.com 805.798.0177 OM — July 2021
AGAVE MARIA Fresh, wholesome Mexican food & drink 106 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-6353 agavemarias.com AJ’S EXPRESS CHINESE EXPRESS Gourmet Chinese food to eat in or to go 11566 North Ventura Avenue (805) 646-1177 ajchinesecuisine.com AZU Spanish & Mediterranean comfort food 457 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-7987, azuojai.com BOCCALI’S Pizza & Pasta, from our farm to our tables 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road (805) 646-6116 boccalis.com BONNIE LU’S COUNTRY CAFE Traditional American breakfast & brunch 328 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-0207 CAFE´ EMPORIUM Locals’ favorite breakfast and lunch 108 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-2723 ojaicafeemporium.com CASA DEL LAGO Ojai’s original Mexican restaurant 715 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1577 THE DEER LODGE An Ojai legend since 1932 2261 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-4256 deerlodgeojai.com FARMER & THE COOK The best of organic Ojai 339 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-9608 farmerandcook.com
YUME JAPANESE BURGER 254 East Ojai Avenue (Arcade) (805) 646-1700 JIM & ROB’S FRESH GRILL Mexican-American & regional favorites 214 West Ojai Avenue #100 (805) 640-1301 jimandrobsojai.com JJ’S SPORTS ZONE The go-to place for food & sports 820 North Ventura Avenue (805) 649-4655 jjssportszone.com HIP VEGAN Vegan sandwiches, salads & bowls 201 North Montgomery Street hipvegancafe.com (805) 669-6363 HOME KITCHEN OF OJAI Breakfast and lunch in a warm space 1103 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-5346 HomeKitchenofOjai.com MANDALA Pan-Asian Cuisine 11400 North Ventura Road (805) 613-3048
OJAI PIZZA COMPANY 331 Ojai Avenue (Downtown Ojai) 545-7878 TheOnlyGoodPizza.com OJAI ROTIE Rotisserie, sourdough, winebox 469 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9227 ojairotie.com PAPA LENNON’S Family owned, original & Italian cuisine 515 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-7388 papalennons.com
RAINBOW BRIDGE A community gathering place 211 East Matilija Street (805) 646-6623 rainbowbridgeojai.com THE RANCH HOUSE An Ojai culinary destination for more than 60 years 102 Besant Road (805) 646-2360 theranchhouse.com
THE NEST 401 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9035 thenestojai.com
SAKURA OJAI A locals’ favorite for Japanese food 219 East Matilija Street (805) 646-8777 sakuraojai.wix.com
NO SO VITA Ojai’s social cafe 205 North Signal Street (805) 646-1540 nosovita.com
SEA FRESH Serving Ojai for 30 years 533 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-7747 seafreshseafood.com
OAK GRILL @ THE INN Al fresco dining under vine-covered pergola 905 Country Club Road (805) 646-1111 ojairesort.com
SOULE PARK GOLF COURSE BAR & GRILL Patio & indoor dining with Ojai’s most tranquil views 1033 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-5685 soulepark.com
OJAI COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY Salads, sandwiches & superb service 337 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-4478 OM — July 2021
CHEF RANDY’S LIFE OF SPICE
Bruschetta with Dijon & Cream Cheese French Dijon mustard adds just the right amount of spice to this sumptuous, creamy spread. Perfect for entertaining on Ojai’s summer evenings as the Pink Moment fades and the warm air lifts and cools. If you want to impress your friends, use the pronounciation of “bruSKetta,” as in Italian the “ch” is properly pronounced.
Randy Graham is a noted chef and writer and has been a lactoovo vegetarian for over 38 years. Chef Randy has written and published a series of seven cookbooks with original recipes developed over the period 1975 through 2020. He writes for the Ojai Quarterly, the Ojai Monthly, and the California 101 Travelers Guide. His vegetarian recipes are published in newspapers throughout Central California under the header, Chef Randy. He and his wife, Robin, live in Ojai, California, with their dog Cooper. Robin and Cooper are not vegetarians.
Spring / Summer
Quick + Easy
INGREDIENTS 4 ounces cream cheese 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped) 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Fresh ground black pepper to taste 1 baguette 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 small leaves of fresh basil (for garnish) D I R EC T I O N S : Mix cheese, basil, and mustard in a small bowl. Season with pepper to taste. Set aside. Cut 2 to 3 slices from the baguette. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Broil in the oven, olive oil side up, for one to two minutes or until toasty. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. Spread cheese mixture on the toasted side of each baguette slice. Garnish with a small leaf of fresh basil if desired.
OM — July 2021
Whitman Architectural Design
www.whitman-architect.com Providing the highest quality custom residential & commercial Architectural Design and Construction Services.
805-646-8485 “We Shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
Ojai Valley Real Estate (805)646-7229
B.R.E. 01229522 Notary Public
firstname.lastname@example.org Call me for your real estate needs. Residential, commercial, or business opportunity.
Great location for commercial business or restaurant. Large parking in back. The building is updated and very clean. Forced air and heating, 3 private offices. A bath room and small wet kitchen. Separate attached unit with 3/4 bath and private entrance and address. $775,000
OM — July 2021
Shop our wide selection of crystals and healing stones! Tumbled Stones - Crystal Specimens - Smudging Herbs & Incense - Spiritual Decor - Books, Gifts & More
805 272 8402 201 N Ventura St, (Corner of W Matiljia St), Ojai Ca 93023 www.thecrystalcornerojai.com TUES - THURS: 1PM - 5PM, FRI 1PM - 6PM, SAT + SUN: 11AM - 6PM
OM — July 2021
OQ | HI K I NG M AP 1
SHELF ROAD 3.5mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 200 ft | Overlooks downtown Ojai.
2 VENTURA RIVER PRESERVE | 7mi EASY TO MODERATE | Elev. Gain:
520 ft (Wills-Rice). Trailheads at end of Meyer Road, South Rice Road and Baldwin Road. Great for birding.
5 HORN CANYON 5.5mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 1,600 ft.
Trailhead near Thacher School’s gymkhana field. Goes to shady stand of 80-foot tall pines.
8 ROSE VALLEY 1mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 100 ft
Trailhead at Rose Valley Campground. Leads to a spectacular 300-foot, two-tiered fall.
PRATT TRAIL 8.8mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 3,300
GRIDLEY TRAIL 6-12mi MODERATE | 3 mi to Gridley Springs
ft | Trailhead off North Signal Street. Goes to Nordhoff Peak. Clear day? See forever.
(Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft) 6 mi to Nordhoff Peak. Trailhead at north end of Gridley Road.
COZY DELL 2.2mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 740 ft |
MATILIJA CANYON 12mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft |
Trailhead 8 miles north of Ojai on Maricopa Highway. Short, intense hike that also connects to trail network.
Middle Fork. Trailhead at end of Matilija Road. First 1.5 miles of trail well-maintained, the rest a scramble.
SISAR CANYON 22mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 4,800 ft to
SULPHUR MTN. 22mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 2,300 ft |
Topa Topa Bluffs. Trailhead at end of Sisar Road. Only for experienced, f it hikers. OM — July 2021
Trailhead on eastern side of Sulphur Mountain Road. Views are unsurpassed. 29
We know Ojai.
2020 Remodel on 17 acres with gated entry, lighted tennis court, approximately 15 acres of avocado orchards, multiple outdoor living areas, outdoor kitchen, 3,000-square-foot shop, two fireplaces, multi-room master suite, amazing views, and much more. www.2871MaricopaHwy.com $5,900,000
Corral Canyon Ranch in Cuyama Valley is a 277+ acre ranch with five recently renovated houses, equestrian facilities, pastures, hay fields, beautiful views set against the stunning Sierra Madres Mountains. www.29443hwy33.com Price Upon Request
2 BR + 1 BA private mountain retreat on approximately one acre with fireplace, vaulted ceilings and views just minutes from downtown Ojai. $529,500
The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com
BRE License #01046067
We’re lifelong residents.
Marc Whitman design on approximately 7 acres with two master suites, five fireplaces, pool, outdoor kitchen, avocado orchard, RV parking, amazing views, and much more. www.1911MeinersRoad.com $3,199,000
Rancho Palo Verde - Contemporary four-bedroom home on 3.75 acres with security gate, privacy fencing, beautiful views, two master suites, avocado trees, fruit trees, chicken coop, great outdoor living areas. 1330SouthLaLunaAvenue.com $2,100,000
Little Creek Ranch offers four bedrooms, two offices, gated entry, arena, covered corrals, on-grid solar, separate workshop, oversized garage, and mountain views on one acre. www.9972CreekRoad.com $1,485,000
BRE License #01962469
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