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OJAI o3 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide

THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE, ON THE STAGE GROWING YOUR OWN HERBAL TEA GARDEN OJAI’S BEST HIKES Cover Photo: Nora Davis, LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-207-6177, See Page 30 For More Information

Visitor Information




Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

OM — March 2021


The Legacy of Paul Williams Paul Revere Williams (1894-1980) was a pioneering African-American Los Angeles architect who designed myriad celebrity homes, churches, municipal buildings and hotels. His designs include private estates for Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, the Los Angeles County Courthouse, the Beverly Hills Hotel and the iconic modernist Theme Building at LAX. A master of proportional space, his designs were characteristically balanced, intimate and elegant. He always endeavored to seamlessly integrate a building into its natural and human environment. Good architecture should reduce human tension by creating a restful environment and by changing social patterns. Paul Williams

ICONIC PAUL WILLIAMS DESIGN Originally built in 1927, this Spanish Colonial Revival home has been lovingly restored in the spirit of its famous architect while upgrading all infrastructure, wiring and plumbing to modern standards. One of only two Paul Williams homes in Ojai, it perfectly encapsulates his values of balance, purpose and proportion to create an intimate family home that takes full advantage of its ideal location and natural environment, including views of the Topa Topa mountains. With 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, an office, a detached studio, a pool and an expansive veranda, it combines spaciousness, functionality and aesthetics in a rare blend. Custom original tiles decorate the many fireplaces and bathrooms, designed to integrate with the architecture. The lushly landscaped, park-like grounds include a grape arbor, an orchard and a bocce court. The beauty and wholeness of this truly unique refuge will bring effortless peace to your heart. 906FoothillRdOjai.com

Offered at $7,250,000


(805) 340-3774



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!



NextHome 307 A East Matilija Street

Jeri Becker 805.340.2846


OM — March 2021

Lynn Goodman 805.573.5927


Heather Erickson



Riley Becker


836 Monte Vista Drive, Santa Paula - $899,000 This 4 bedroom/3.5 bathroom, 2,759 sq. ft. home sits on a .40 acre hillside lot and features spectacular sweeping views of the Santa Paula valley and mountains. Amenities include a swimming pool, a sport court, formal dining area, a master bedroom suite, and a fantastic step-down family room off the kitchen/breakfast area. Sale Pending

Sale pending

12251 Linda Flora Drive, Ojai - $525,000

Step 1: Imagine summer evenings spent sipping your favorite drink, sitting on your patio, facing the majestic Topa Topa mountains as the sun sets. Step 2: Realize the dream when you build your custom home on this 2.03 acre parcel in Rancho Matilija!

172 N. Encinal Avenue, Ojai

611 Emily Street, Ojai

Sale pending

Sold for $880,000

8025 Camp Chaffee Road, Ventura

Sold for $621,000 P: 805.272.5218 E: ContactUs@TeamDeckert.com VenturaAndSantaBarbaraHomes.com

DRE# 01761150, 01859199

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MARCH 2021


Editor’s Note


Calendar of Events


Featured Pro: The Doctor Halvorsen is in the House


How To Keep Loan Fees Low

20 Preparing Your Home for Spring 21

Ojai Founding Fathers & Mothers


Who’s Who in Real Estate


Dine Ojai — Restaurant Guide


Chef Randy: Creamy Mushroom Sauce



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: Team Deckert / Keller Williams Contact Us: 805.798.0177 editor@ojaiquarterly.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 o3 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide

THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE, ON THE STAGE GROWING YOUR OWN HERBAL TEA GARDEN OJAI’S BEST HIKES Cover Photo: Nora Davis, LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-207-6177, See Page 30 For More Information

Visitor Information




Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

OM — March 2021


OM — March 2021






“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman Horn Canyon looks like the aftermath of a giant infant’s play party, boulders strewn like a messy box of blocks. Rugged and ancient, the canyon holds layers of secrets. On the northside ridge, a ridged metal dome stands out like an anachronistic thumb. That would be the Thacher School Observatory, where its 16-inch reflector telescope reveals the secrets that loom above us in the vastness of space. Dr. Jon Swift has been heading up the prestigious school’s astrophysics program for ten years now, and in doing, has helped the young students earn professional credentials, co-authoring dozens of scientific papers, discovering and studying exoplanets especially, the earth-sized globes that orbit distant stars. From the first confirmed discovery in 1992 of two planets by radio astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail, now more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered, many earth-sized at an earth-equivalent distance from their suns, the so-called ‘‘Goldilocks’’ range, where it is most likely that life as we know it might exist or even flourish. Swift was interviewed on the Ojai: Talk of the Town’’ podcast. Check it out wherever you catch your podcasts. He talked about the program’s importance to the increasingly-connected world of astrophysics, where it is difficult to book time on major observatories to test or confirm studies and observations, and how the science that goes on in Ojai is just as important to the larger picture of our understanding as any other observatory. The observatory’s history goes back much further, to the days of cosmologist Edwin Hubble, who gave the school’s commencement address in 1942. Caltech’s Richard Feynman gave 9 lectures at Thacher’s Summer Science Program between 1960 and 1980. Feynman’s genius, or one of them at least, was bringing complicated and theoretical physics to vivid understanding with sometimes nothing more than an orange and a pencil. He was also quite a character. Besides bringing scientific rigor to the calculating of quantum electrodynamics (for which he won the Nobel Prize) and inventing the concept of nano-particles (‘‘There’s always plenty of room at the bottom,’’), he was, at age 21, the Manhattan Project’s youngest scientist. One of the great advantages of living in Ojai is that we have so many truly outstanding private schools. I believe our public schools benefit, not only because of the competition, but because of the opportunities for collaboration. I’d love to see some cross-hybridization that brings in Ojai’s best and brightest Nordhoff science-oriented kids to work with their Thacher peers. Not only would it be a chance for broadening exposure for students who would not ordinarily meet each other, but it could launch stellar careers. There’s probably a lot of reasons why it wouldn’t work, but at the moment I can’t think of a one.

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“This is my third loan through Therese Hartmann. I was informed of the loan status as it went through the various stages right through to the end. Therese was always available for questions or concerns. Highly recommend!”

(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

Estelle, 24x12”

— R Nason


Gallery: OVA Arts, 238 Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA

Collect Online at Eells.com Studio visits by appointment. • duane@eells.com

Back to Top


OM — March 2021

PE AC E F U L O JAI OASI S On a 2½ acre lot with spectacular views, this completely renovated luxury home is a peaceful oasis ideal for family, entertaining or retreat. The light-filled interior features wide-plank wood floors, French doors, high-ceilings, designer lighting and a modern palette. The completely remodeled chef’s kitchen opens to a dining room/living area with a large fireplace. The master bath includes a steam shower, jacuzzi and an infrared sauna. A pergola covered porch takes full advantage of the view and a pool complex includes a spa, a cabana, and a covered outdoor kitchen/dining area. There is an attached one-bedroom guest suite with kitchenette. The grounds feature mature oaks, citrus, rose and lavender gardens. Only minutes from downtown Ojai, this unique property offers Ojai living at its best. 11089EncinoDrOjai.com

Offered at $3,100,000


25 years matching people and property in the Ojai Valley OM — March 2021


illage marketplace


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MARCH 7 “Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise” By Toni Morrison Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon. “Beloved” is the first of three novels about love and African-American history. Morrison said that they are intended to be read together. March 7 will be “Beloved,” pages 87-158. Contact: agorafoundation.org Phone: 805-231-5974 THROUGH MARCH “Selected Works” by George Stoll Porch Gallery Ojai presents sculptor George Stoll, who has been showing internationally since 1994, and is in permanent collections at UCLA’s Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. Location: Porch Gallery, 310 East Matilija Street Contact: porchgalleryojai.com 805-620-7589 THROUGH APRIL 3 Janna Ireland “Ojai House — Looking In, Looking Out” “Looking In, Looking Out” features new photographs created during the last year viewable through the front window and by appointment. The exterior windows will feature large scale images of an Ojai home by Paul R. Williams, printed on translucent vinyl. Viewing by appointment. Location: 248 South Montgomery Street Contact: 805-633-9188


Email: fjanka@cgbfoundation.org MARCH 21 “The Wisdom of Humor - Part IV” “Many a truth is spoken in jest.” Time: 12 noon to 2 p.m. Selections from Jonathan Swift and Frederick Douglass. Other readings include Aristophanes, “On Lying” by Twain and Wilde and “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. Contact: agorafoundation.org Phone: 805-231-5974 MARCH 27 “Love - Gunnar’s Daughter” by Sigrid Undset Othello said about himself that he “loved not wisely but too well.” It seems that one can love things too much, but can one really love someone too much? This series will devote itself to a discussion of the mystery and majesty of love. Contact: agorafoundation.org Phone: 805-231-5974 MARCH 17-18 Ojai & Rosendal Climate Park Art Exhibition and Auction - Ojai Earth Day 2021 Tied to the Earth Day celebrations in Ojai and its sister city Rosendal, South Africa, will be simultaneous physical and online art exhibits in both cities. The Ojai art show will be safely held in the Ojai Woman’s Club. Contact: ojaichamber.org, 805-646-8126

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WEEKLY Certified Farmers Market

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. 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.

THROUGH MAY “Insight 20/20” - Ojai Studio Artists Dates/Times: By appointment Artists have taken creative notice of the changes that have been forced upon all of us. This sampling of work by the Ojai Studio Artists is their response to a scary and surreal 2020. Location: Ojai Valley Museum Contact: info@OjaiValleyMuseum.org THURSDAYS “Ojai: Talk of the Town” Podcast New episodes come out Thursday evenings through OjaiHub.com newsletter. Sign up at OjaiHub.com 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 events in April and May, go to tierrasolojai.org and meditationmount.org.





Meet Jim Halverson, born in Winnebago (the town, not the camper) a rural farming community named for the Winnebago Indians in southern Minnesota. Not a place with much call for actors (zero, actually), but doctors were always needed, and Jim’s father, Don, was one of two physicians for the town and neighboring communities. His mom, Jane, had a love and talent for oil painting, a talent Jim empathically claims he did not inherit.

ano and trumpet lessons. He loved the trumpet. Piano, not so much. But, at age 13, his life was uprooted. One of Don’s patients was holed up in his home with a shotgun, threatening to kill his wife and himself. The man refused to talk to the police, but he would talk to his doctor. Unarmed, Don bravely entered the couple’s home and talked the man into surrendering. This had a profound effect on Jim’s mother, enough for the family to leave Winnebago. Don and Jane packed up Jim and his younger sister, Sue, and headed for the warm sun of San Bernardino, California, where Jane enrolled in a Fine Arts Master program to work on her painting, and Don resumed his work as a family doctor.

He did find his artistic niche, though, in music and took pi-

After graduating from high school, Jim enrolled in the Uni-

That title question is sometimes called out to a theater audience if someone’s sick or injured. But in Ojai the audience might look to the stage, instead. More on that later...


OM — March 2021



versity of California, Los Angeles, planning to become an engineer. Though he had never considered following in his father’s footsteps, it wasn’t long before he realized engineering was not for him and switched to Biochemistry. For a break from his studies, he became a trumpeter for UCLA’s marching band. During his junior year, he met freshman, Robyn Andres, a linguistic major raised back East. Thinking Jim might be related to the Halversons she knew (he wasn’t), she looked him up just as he was leaving his dorm room dressed in full marching band regalia. Robyn took that “man in a uniform” archetype to heart and it

wasn’t long before they began dating. After graduating with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Jim entered Duke University Medical School in the fall of 1978. In ‘81, Jim and Robyn married and in ‘82, Jim graduated from Duke. The newlyweds returned to California where Jim did his internship and residency in family practice medicine at Ventura County Memorial Medical Center, where he met and became friends with fellow residents, Mary and Lanyard Dial. In 1984, Robyn gave birth to their first child, Jenna OM — March 2021


(now working in the mortgage industry, with a year-old son, married to Navy flight surgeon, Robert Armstrong). To pay back his student loans, Jim became a physician for the National Public Health Corps. He moved his young family to Burney, California, a logging community high up in the Sierra Mountains, where he lived a “Northern Exposure” doctor’s life, not unlike his father’s practice in Minnesota. The nearest hospital to Burney was mountain roads away in Fall River Mills. As Robyn settled in and made new friends, Jim treated patients and traveled to the Fall River Mills hospital for doctoring shifts, often sleeping there, rather than drive the mountain roads late at night back to Burney. It was there that their son, Brad was born (now a contractor in Ojai, Chief Peak Builders). Doctoring in the mountains led to some touch-and-go medical situations, such as a boy of 16 who came to the hospital unconscious from a blow to the head. The hospital wasn’t equipped to handle brain injuries, so Jim called the Redding Hospital (60 miles away) and spoke to a neurosurgeon who instructed him to drill a hole in the boy’s head to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, the Fall River Mills hospital did not have a medical drill, so the neurosurgeon suggested that Jim sterilize and use a carpenter’s drill because the boy might not make it to Redding alive otherwise. But… a blizzard was raging, leaving no way to find such a drill, and a medivac helicopter was out of the question. Determined to get his patient to Redding alive, Jim intubated him, massaging the air bag that pumped breath into the barely breathing boy, as he convinced the neurosurgeon to send an ambulance halfway to Fall River Mills, 30 miles over mountain icy roads in blizzard conditions, where he would meet it and transfer the boy from the Fall River Falls Hospital ambulance to Redding’s. Jim kept pumping air into his patient during the entire, harrowing ride, not stopping until he could hand the boy and the bag over to the attendants in the Redding ambulance. He stayed with the boy the rest of the way, who miraculously survived, suffering no brain damage. In 1987, after Jim and his family had been in Burney for two years, his old friend Dr. Mary Dial asked him to join her and Dr. Carl Gross in their Family Medicine practice in Ojai. Having visited Ojai during his resident years in Ventura, he and Robyn accepted and moved to the Valley. As the children were growing up, Robyn became an active fundraiser for the children’s schools and worked, first as a volunteer, then an employee, for the school district as an administrative assistant at the Nordhoff Performing Arts program. 14

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Jim discovered singing and acting when he joined the Ojai Presbyterian Church choir, (which he now directs) and volunteered to play trumpet in the Nordhoff High School theater production orchestra, where he met beloved actor, director and drama teacher, John Slade. Slade was auditioning for his production of “Our Town,” and was looking for a real doctor to play the doc. He asked Jim if he’d be interested in doing the part. Jim agreed, and during the run of the show, he was thoroughly bitten by the acting bug (for which there is no vaccine.) Since his debut in “Our Town,” Jim has done numerous shows in Ojai, mostly musicals, including the Ojai Art Center Theater’s presentations of “A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum,” “Hello Dolly,” and “Man of La Mancha,” a co-production with Ojai Performing Arts Theater (OPAT), as well as featured roles in OPAT productions of “She Loves Me,” and “Grand Hotel.” Before the pandemic reached America, Jim was cast in his first lead role as “Elwood P. Dowd” in an Ojai revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Harvey,” co-directed by Broadway producer/director Craig Anderson, and Richard Camp. Surrounded by a solid cast of professional and community actors and a gorgeous set, opening night was a week away, when the lockdown hit and theater doors closed. But, “Harvey” will rise from the ashes like a phoenix, health issues willing. Jim and the cast will return, rehearsals will resume, the set will be taken out of storage, and the show will go on … hopefully this Fall. As his family practice maintains a pandemic safe environment for its patients, Jim has also been writing a Covid-19 information column for the Ojai Valley News, keeping Ojaians up-to-date on the latest data regarding the virus and vaccines. Recently, the Santa Paula Times has picked up Jim’s column and is running it both in English and Spanish. In some ways, Jim has come full circle. Like his father (now a resident of the Gables), he’s living a small-town family doctor’s life where he’s active in the Rotary Club of Ojai West, was chief-of-staff of Ojai Valley Community Hospital and is a past president and on the Board of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation. Also like his father, who’s a musician and singer, Jim’s been able to enjoy his love of music and acting, first in the church choir, then in the orchestra pit of Nordhoff productions (which he now produces), and on stage, as he continues to care for his patients in a town he loves. This doctor is definitely “in the house.”

May 23, 2021 Byron Katie & The Work will be returning to Flourish Ojai

March 21st 2021

AN OUNCE OF PERMISSION All you need is an ounce of Permission to change, to grieve, to release, to forgive, to manifest, to feel, to move through the next chapter of life… Photo Courtesy of Gerdi Alvarado, Ojai Artist & Community Member

April 22nd-25th 2021

6 Feet of Connection Back to Our Roots

We invite our Ojai community to participate in creating art and contributing to this Earth Day Event featuring local artists, International guest artists, free workshops, and more!


OM — March 2021


Donna Sallen

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.

A hidden little gem! Very private, quiet, respite right in town. Bright, light-filled modern turnkey home that features ease of indoor-outdoor living with a modern kitchen with Viking stove and Subzero fridge, outdoor shower, bike and surf shed, and ample shade from a multitude of fruit trees including persimmon, fig, mulberry, apricot, plum and pineapple guava. This home is zoned residential and commercial. Come experience this unique in-town Ojai oasis where views of the Los Padres and a sense of peace will surround you.

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.

Donna Sallen


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.

Fanny v. Freddie What They Do & Why You Should Care By Therese A. Hartmann

I was sipping my morning coffee the other day when a client called to discuss a refinance, I had just done for her. She was happy and surprised that her loan was a “Fannie Mae loan.” It was instantly clear she didn’t understand what Fannie is/ does, so I launched into a caffeine fueled explanation. It made me think others might want to know. Essentially, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-backed mortgage companies that are intended to keep the market stable and home loans affordable. Fannie was established in 1938 by FDR while Freddie came about in 1970. Both purchase home loans from banks, enabling banks to have more free capital to finance borrowers. They repackage the loans and resell them on the secondary market. And the cycle continues. What are some other helpful roles they play? Here is a little breakdown that will help you understand their impact… • Stabilizing the Mortgage Market: During tough economic times — like now — both Fannie and Freddie keep the mortgage markets from imploding by guaranteeing payments on those mortgages. The result is more funds available and lower interest rates. • Low-Income Homeownership: Both Fannie and Freddie have mortgage 18

programs to assist low-to-moderate income borrowers as well as first-time home buyers. Because these loans are government backed, banks can relax their requirements allowing more people the opportunity to purchase a home. • To the Rescue!: oth agencies have hung tight when times have gotten rough. In 2007, for example, when the sub-prime market collapsed, Fannie/Freddie lost around $8.7 BILLION to cover foreclosed loans. Unless the government stepped in to soften the blow, the economic failure might have been substantially worse. • COVID-19 Response: Many homeowners struggled (and continue to struggle) to make their mortgage payments during the global pandemic. Under the CARES Act, the government provided financial relief through forbearance to homeowners whose loans were federally backed. Without this intervention, we could easily be experiencing significant foreclosures instead of the current boom we are enjoying. Although things have changed since FDR’s original vision, making the dream of homeownership more widely available continues thanks to Fannie and thanks to Freddie. And now you know a little more about them! OM — March 2021

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.

Donna Sallen

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. OM — March 2021


Growing Your Own Tea Garden By Aimee Jo Davis-Varela

Our local climate allows for growing Camellia sinensis (tea plants), but most Ojaians probably don’t have the space it would take to grow enough tea to meet their family’s needs, and many probably don’t want to wait the two to three years it takes before you can start harvesting your tea leaves. This, however, does not mean you cannot grow your own tea ingredients in your garden or on your patio in a convenient container garden. Growing ingredients for herbal teas is easy, does not have to take up much room, and does not require waiting three years before you can start enjoying your crop. Of course, what we call herbal tea is technically not tea at all, since it is not made with leaves from Camellia sinensis. These warm, comforting, caffeine-free concoctions are properly referred to as tisanes or herbal infusions, but we all know them colloquially as herbal teas, so I’m going to go ahead and keep on calling them that here. If you want to grow herbal tea ingredients, the first step is finding a sunny spot for your herb garden, since most 20

herbs like at least six hours of sun per day. Most also prefer well-draining soil, so you may want to opt for raised garden beds or containers, which allow for more control over soil conditions. Since you are planning on consuming what you harvest, avoid chemical-laden fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and choose natural options instead. Some herbs you might want to consider growing for tea include mint, chamomile, dandelion, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, sage, coriander, lemon verbena, and parsley. Each of these is commonly used in herbal teas and has been historically used in folk remedies. For example, chamomile is often used to improve sleep, lavender is known for its calming qualities, and coriander seeds are believed to aid digestion. You can also include fruits from your backyard trees, such as dried lemon or orange peels, in your herbal teas. It is important to remember that some herbs are not recommended for certain folks. For example, rosemary is not recommended for pregnant people or people with bleeding disorders. Because OM — March 2021

of this, you should always do a little research before adding a new herb to your garden. Once you harvest your herbs and are ready to start making tea, you may want to do a bit of experimentation to see if you prefer using fresh or dried herbs for your infusions. Fresh herbs can be stored in water on the counter or in a container in the refrigerator for a few days. Dried herbs can be stored much longer in air-tight containers in a dark, cool pantry. When working with fresh herbs, you can expect to use about two to three times more than you would use when working with dried herbs. The steeping time will also be longer when using fresh herbs. While dried herbs are easier to store and work with overall, some believe that using fresh herbs is more beneficial or simply prefer to harvest fresh herbs as needed for their teas. If you have limited space, you might consider growing herbs that you can use for other purposes as well, such as cooking, making sachets, crafting, or making homemade gifts.

FOUNDING FATHERS & MOTHERS While Edward Drummond Libbey is rightfully regarded among Ojai’s chief benefactors — having been behind the buildbing 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.


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



Valley: (est.)


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 — March 2021






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 chaugan@livsothebysrealtyca.com DRE# 02019604

Joe Davis Full service property management, residential • Commercial • Industrial JoeTheRentalGuy.com. 805-574-9774

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

Anne Williamson Keller Williams Realty Anneshomesinojai.com 805-320-3314

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

Erik Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde.com 805-830-3254

Patty Waltcher LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Call me for your Real Estate needs. 805-340-3774

Marsha Kaye Home Mortgage Consultant Phone: 805640-0654 Cell: 805-7469055 marsha.kaye@ homebridge. com

Stephen Adelman Broker Associate “Your Family Man Realtor” LIV Sotheby’s realestateojai@ gmail.com ojailuxuryrealestate.com 805-640-5563

Kristen Currier LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-3757 thehoffgroup. 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 — March 2021

Dale Hanson Ojai Valley Real Estate 211 E. Matilija Street, Ste. J, 206 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-7229 dale@ovhl.com

Kirk Ellison LIV Sotheby’s International Realty KirkEllison@ me.com 805-340-5905

Don & Cheree Edwards RE/MAX Gold Coast Ojai’s Top Selling Team LivinginOjai.com 805.340.3192 805.350.7575

Kathy Hoff LIV Sotheby’s International Realty (805) 290-6907 thehoffgroup. com

Hildegard Tallent CalBRE# 02047013 Keller Williams Realty, 109 N. Blanche Street Tel: 805-7981872 email: hildegard.tallent@ kw.com

Therese A. Hartmann is a local loan consultant affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation, and is a Licensed Broker, California BRE #01048403. NMLS # 298291. For a free consultation, call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.

Team Deckert Keller Williams Realty Ray Deckert, Broker Associate ContactUs@TeamDeckert. com 805-272-5218

OM — March 2021


AGAVE MARIA Fresh, wholesome Mexican food & drink 106 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-6353 agavemarias.com

JIM & ROB’S FRESH GRILL Mexican-American & regional favorites 214 West Ojai Avenue #100 (805) 640-1301 jimandrobsojai.com

AJ EXPRESS CHINESE EXPRESS Gourmet Chinese food to eat in or to go 11566 North Ventura Avenue (805) 646-1177 ajchinesecuisine.com

JJ’S SPORTS ZONE The go-to place for food & sports 820 North Ventura Avenue (805) 649-4655 jjssportszone.com

OJAI PIZZA COMPANY 331 Ojai Ave. (Downtown Ojai) 545-7878 TheOnlyGoodPizza.com OJAI ROTIE Rotisserie, sourdough, winebox 469 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9227 ojairotie.com

AZU Spanish & Mediterranean comfort food 457 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-7987, azuojai.com

HIP VEGAN Vegan sandwiches, salads & bowls 201 North Montgomery Street hipvegancafe.com (805) 669-6363

PAPA LENNON’S Family owned, original & Italian cuisine 515 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-7388 papalennons.com

BOCCALI’S Pizza & Pasta, from our farm to our tables 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road (805) 646-6116 boccalis.com

HOME KITCHEN OF OJAI Breakfast and lunch in a warm space 1103 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-5346 HomeKitchenofOjai.com

RAINBOW BRIDGE A community gathering place 211 East Matilija Street (805) 646-6623 rainbowbridgeojai.com

BONNIE LU’S COUNTRY CAFE Traditional American breakfast & brunch 328 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-0207

KNEAD BAKING COMPANY An artisanal family bakery 469 East Ojai Avenue (310) 770-3282 kneadbakingcompany.com

THE RANCH HOUSE An Ojai culinary destination for more than 60 years 102 Besant Road (805) 646-2360 theranchhouse.com

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 E Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1577 THE DEER LODGE An Ojai legend since 1932 2261 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-4256 deerlodgeojai.com

MANDALA Pan-Asian Cuisine 11400 North Ventura Road (805) 613-3048 THE NEST 401 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9035 thenestojai.com NO SO VITA Ojai’s social cafe 205 North Signal Street (805) 646-1540 nosovita.com

FARMER & THE COOK The best of organic Ojai 339 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-9608 farmerandcook.com

OAK GRILL @ THE INN Al fresco dining under vine-covered pergola 905 Country Club Road (805) 646-1111 ojairesort.com

FOOD HARMONICS Nutritional Love 254 East Ojai Avenue (Arcade) (805) 798-9253

OJAI COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY Salads, sandwiches & superb service 337 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-4478


OM — March 2021


SAKURA OJAI A locals’ favorite for Japanese food 219 East Matilija Street (805) 646-8777 sakuraojai.wix.com SEA FRESH Serving Ojai for 30 years 533 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-7747 seafreshseafood.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 Check websites for specific information, due to the pandemic, hours, offerings and on-site dining options may change frequently.

CHEF RANDY’S LIFE OF SPICE mushroom cream sauce I remember mom opening a can of Campbell’s condensed mushroom soup, heating it up in a small pan, and then pouring it over egg noodles. It’s what was for dinner on more than a few occasions and although I think it’s kinda gross today, back then it was comfort food. This is a something similar to mom’s quick dinner but make no mistake: this is not your mama’s mushroom sauce. Campbell’s mushroom soup includes, among other things, food starch, wheat flour, whey, soy, and especially MSG. My vegan mushroom sauce is made from fresh mushrooms and a few other healthy ingredients. I like to serve it over German spaetzle or Sicilian casarecci pasta. My recipe makes enough for two adults and can be easily doubled to feed more.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 sweet onion (chopped fine) 12 ounces mushrooms (sliced thick) 1 1/2-cups vegetable broth 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon (no beef base) 4 tablespoons natural almond butter 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped fine) 2 cups cooked spaetzle (or pasta noodles of your choice)

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.


Winter / Spring

D I R EC T I O N S :

Heat olive over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and mushrooms for five minutes. Add broth, bouillon, almond butter, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook for three minutes more or until creamy. Remove mushroom sauce from the heat and pour over spaetzle. Garnish with parsley and serve while still hot.

Quick + Easy


OM — March 2021


Design and Supply for Your Living Spaces


Now available at

frontier paint GALLERY



805 272 8760

227 Baldwin Rd., Ojai 805-646-0459

www.frontierpaint.biz 26


OM — March 2021

www.firestickpottery.com Open Daily 10 - 6 Gallery Open to the Public 1804 East Ojai Avenue

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.”

Winston Churchill

Dale Hanson

Ojai Valley Real Estate (805)646-7229

B.R.E. 01229522 Notary Public

dale@ojaivalleyrealestate.com 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 — March 2021




Rebates starting at

Increase your comfort and help lower your energy bills with insulating Hunter Douglas shades. Rebate savings available now. Ask for details.



on select styles January 9– March 22, 2021

SMART SHADES BONUS! Get even more energy efficiency plus a BONUS REBATE when you add PowerView® Automation.

Chisum's Floor Covering 118 Bryant St Ojai, CA M-F: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: By Appointment Only Sun: Closed (805) 646-2440 www.chisumsfloor.com Contractor Lic. #242944

Ask us about special savings on select Hunter Douglas operating systems.

*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 1/9/21–3/22/21 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Bonus PowerView® rebate is only available when making a qualifying purchase. Rebate will be issued in the form of a Reward Card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2021 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 21Q1MAGDUC3


OM — March 2021


SHELF ROAD 3.5mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 200 ft | Overlooks downtown Ojai.


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



COZY DELL 2.2mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 740 ft |

MATILIJA CANYON 12mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft |

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.

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. Trailhead on eastern side of Sulphur Mountain Road. Only for experienced, f it hikers. Views are unsurpassed. OM — March 2021


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


Rancho Tranquilo is located on 5+ acres in Upper Ojai with five bedrooms, flex rooms, two fireplaces, pool, tennis court, caretaker’s quarters, horse facilities, solar, RV garage, views and more. www.12605HighwindsRoad.com $3,375,000

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

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067



We’re lifelong residents.

Marc Whitman design on approximately 7 acres with two master suites, four fireplaces, pool, outdoor kitchen, avocado orchard, RV parking, amazing views, and much more. www.1911MeinersRoad.com $3,485,000

Remodeled ranch-style home on 15.86 acres with pool, outdoor living, ag barn, four fireplaces, laundry/mudroom, and amazing lake, mountain, and valley views. www.240FelizDrive.com $2,595,000

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 $1,595,000

Kellye Lynn

BRE License #01962469


G a b r i e l a Ce s e ñ a T H E N E X T L E V E L O F R E A L E S TAT E S E R V I C E S Re a l t o r ® | L u x u r y S p e c i a l i s t Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction. D R I V E N B Y PA S S I O N F O R T H E W O R K I D O !

805.236.3814 | gabrielacesena@bhhscal.com LIC# 01983530

Gabrielacesena.bhhscalifornia.com © 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. 32

OM — March 2021

Profile for Ojai Quarterly

Ojai Monthly - March 2021