Ojai Valley News Earth Day Supplement

Page 1




TICKETS: OJAIWILD.ORG • 805.617.4610 x2



Stop by the Boku booth at Earth Day and receive a free sample of Superfood!

Store open 9-5 Monday-Saturday • Walk ins / Locals receive 18% OFF Boku International Inc. 987 West Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 • (805) 650-BOKU




Oak Grove School 2019




Wilderness Adventures • Peace Camp • Sewing & Textile Art • Sewing–Hand Stitching • Culinary Adventures • Imagination Workshop • Graphic Art • Fun with stories by Mo Willems • Rock Academy • Creative Movement • Surf Camp • Broadway Tap & Jazz • Creative Writing, Mindfulness & Art • Movement, Play & Fitness Workshop •

oakgroveschool.org/camps Learn More


GARDEN DESIGN PLANT SALES • CONSULTATION Australian and South African Native Plants Drought Hardy • Beautiful • Tough

Growing Grounds

Casitas Springs, Ojai Valley

By Appointment 805-649-3362

www.australianplants.com jo@australianplants.com

At Food for Thought Ojai, it all starts with a seed. By Lori Hamor


ith the Thomas Fire more than a year behind us, we are watching our scarred mountains turn green once again. While the cycle of life continues around us, Food for Thought Ojai is in classrooms and school gardens helping students engage in the timeless activities of sprouting seeds, tending seedlings, stewarding plants to our plates and harvesting seeds for the cycle to repeat.

Cali Piccirillo to involve the school libraries. Piccirillo’s passion for seeds resulted in a beautiful book she authored for elementary-school students explaining the how and why of seed saving, accompanied by gorgeous botanical illustrations by local artist Stephen Jones. The “Save a Seed” book is available at all seed libraries and used in our Garden-based Learning curriculum.

do with the seeds? Students often create seed envelopes that come with unique illustrations and creative graphic design. Food for Thought Ojai also uses saved seeds to grow plants at our Topa Topa greenhouse with help from eager Garden Club students. These young plants are then used in the school garden beds, or sold at springtime pop-up produce stands

all students’ ability to grow their own food. We ascribe to the belief that sharing seeds is sharing knowledge. Food for Thought Ojai has been working to educate, support and inspire healthier food choices for students and families of the valley for more than 15 years. Our work staffing, maintaining and stewarding elementary-school gardens has been one of our most visible accomplishments and has provided many thousands of hours of handon experiences for students. Ojai is celebrated for our citrus and avocado orchards, but there are many children in our valley who lack access to an area for planting a home garden. Our work in the gardens, growing food with students, taste-testing the seasonal produce and harvesting seeds and produce to share with families at produce stands has emerged as a wildly successful way to incorporate health, art and environmental lessons into “bite-size” portions of the day during weekly Garden Clubs. The Nordhoff High School garden has been restored, improved and maintained by environmental field studies classes with funding for supplies and guidance from Food for Thought Ojai since 2014. It will be incorporating plant propagation in the new greenhouse space. As a co-sponsor of the annual Ojai Seed Swap for the past few years — along with Ojai Valley Green Coalition and Center for Regenerative Agriculture — Food for Thought Ojai has witnessed the increasing enthusiasm for free open pollinated seeds and regeneration.

Food for Thought Ojai’s seed-saving curriculum has recently flourished with support from the Ojai Women’s Fund and expanded into Ojai Unified School District elementary-school libraries. Our stellar education teams have assisted in the development of this focus over the years, and David White’s enthusiastic expertise for seed saving laid the foundation for

Seed saving is a highly tactile activity even our youngest students enjoy. The opening of the pods, winnowing of the chaff, sifting through a series of screens, and inspecting the seeds before putting them in a jar for safe keeping — each step evokes calm conversation among the youngsters at the garden picnic tables. It is truly a delight to witness. What do we

to families wishing to plant at home. Thanks to support from school donors and state educational funding, we have assembled two new greenhouses at Nordhoff High School and San Antonio Elementary School for additional plant-propagation opportunities. Why seeds? Our organization strives to develop

It is our hope that our work with the youngest of the valley’s residents deepens our connection to seeds and that these cycles continue. Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates on plant and seed sales. Happy Earth Day! Lori Hamor is executive director of Food for Thought Ojai.


ow often do we pause in gratitude and appreciate our Mother Earth for the incredible Instagram shots of luscious meadows packed with glorious colors of spring wildflowers? The upcoming Ojai Earth Day celebration on April 20, 2019 in Libbey Park is a time to show our appreciation, acknowledge strides taken by past and present leaders to protect our precious planet, and an opportunity to learn more about our personal involvement. Fifty years ago, even before the oil spill that hit close to home in Santa Barbara on January 28, 1969, tragically killing over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions, the undercurrent was in motion to rally around environmental protection. The anniversary of this oil spill is a poignant memory triggering the inception of the first Earth Day. At a 1969 UNESCO Conference, peace activist John McConnell proposed March 21, 1970 — the Spring Equinox — be declared a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. This date was sanctioned by United Nations Secretary General U Thant and was celebrated in San Francisco as the first International Earth Day. Leading up to the creation of Earth Day 1970, a rare political alignment was happening with support from both Republicans and Democrats, as well as people from all walks of life. However, coinciding with McConnell’s

movement, Sen. Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was inspired to create a separate Earth Day on April 22, 1970 after having seen the horrific destruction of the Santa Barbara Channel 800-square-mile oil slick. Sen. Nelson announced the idea for a summit and a “national teach-in on the environment” and was successful in persuading Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican congressman, to serve as his co-chair along with Harvard’s Denis Hayes as national coordinator. On January 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill, an Environmental Rights Day was held with a reading of the Declaration of Environmental Rights written by Rod Nash. Meanwhile, Hayes went on to build a large national staff promoting April 22, 1970 Earth Day events across the U.S. which resulted in over 20 million people throughout the country gathering to focus on awareness and eco-consciousness. That day did more than just produce awareness. A coalition of congressmen and other prominent leaders, endorsed the Declaration of Environmental Rights laying the groundwork for the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. The April date stuck, and this year 1 billion people in more than 193 countries will be gathering. It is fitting that the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, whose mission it is to educate and advance a green, sustainable, and resilient way of life for the Ojai Valley community, will be the host of this year’s Ojai Earth Day. The event is on Saturday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Libbey Park. The Coalition hopes to raise the bar on awareness within our valley at a time when it has become even more urgent. According to Hayes, “Despite that amazing success and

decades of environmental progress, we find ourselves facing an even more dire, almost existential, set of global environmental challenges, from loss of biodiversity to climate change to plastic pollution, that call for action at all levels.” Please join us and our communities throughout the valley to celebrate, participate and become ever more aware and involved in the health and well-being of our home, our

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry

precious planet Earth.

Earth Day Festival host, Ojai Valley Green Coalition

Tibet & Fine Cashmere Wear

Jewel Buddha

Mud Lotus Collection Mud Cloth & Organic Cotton Clothing from India Handcrafted Jewelry Unique Pieces Made with Care by Artisans jewelbuddha.com (805)252-5882

Find us at Ojai local events Ojai Makers Market & more



EXHIB 101 CBD Abundant Harvest Soils Acorn School All Good Things Organic Seed Co. Blue Sky Biochar Boku Superfood California Solar Electric Center for Regenerative Agriculture CFROG Cindy Style Jewelry City Complete Streets & Ojai Ride & Roll City of Ojai - Electric Equipment Demonstration Clean Power Alliance Community Demonstration Garden Dark Skies E.J. Harrison Industries Earthtone Pottery EastWest Collective Firestick Pottery Food for Thought Green Goddess Gardens Healthy Eco Home Jewel Buddha Los Padres Forest Assoc. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center


11 am


12 pm


SCHEDULE Kids Creative Dance Eden Flynn

Kokoro Flow Yoga Melanie Larkins

1 pm


Peace Sticks Shine Rilling and World Peace Tribe

2 pm

Kids Bollywood Dance Briana Syvertson and Hamsa Ojai

Los Padres Forest Watch Lucky Uschi Neil The Wand Maker Ojai Chamber of Commerce Ojai International Day of Peace Ojai Raptor Center Ojai Trees Ojai Valley Bee Club Ojai Valley Green Coalition Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Ojai Valley Sanitary District Ojai Valley School Peach Hill Soils Pretty Cheap Jewelry Renewal By Andersen Save Our Water Ojai Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter Somatic Sanctuary System Pavers The C.R.E.W. The Humane Society of Ventura Co. The Plant Good Seed Company Transition to Organics Ventura Wild Wild at Heart

3 pm

Tai Chi Jan Reason


SCHEDULE 11am-12pm

Music – Ray Powers Introduction – Severo Lara Opening Ceremony – Julie Tumamait City of Ojai – Mayor Johnny Johnston Bicycle Friendly Ojai – Suza Francina and Kelly Pasco


Music – Rose Valley Thorns Ojai Valley Green Coalition – Melanie Larkins Ojai Valley Land Conservancy – Brian Stark Student Essays – Green Schools Collective California Solar Electric – Kris Wallin


Music – Shylah Ray Sunshine Ojai Demonstration Garden – Tara Saylor Los Padres ForestWatch – Jeff Kuyper


Music – Brothers Koren Center for Regenerative Agriculture – David White Ojai Raptor Center – Jaclyn DeSantis


Music (Community Sing) – Vaughn Montgomery Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas – Robin Gerber Poetry – Fatah Evans

stage sponsor

Los Padres ForestWatch

Hey Ojai, take a hike G

etting outside in Ojai is easy! The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, a community-based nonprofit, manages roughly 2,300 acres of open space — 2,000 acres of which are open free for public access. We invite you to explore our preserves and 27 miles of trail. You can go on an adventure in the Ventura River Preserve, take a leisurely stroll in the Ojai Meadows Preserve, or get a workout as you make your way up switchbacks for some amazing views on the Valley View Preserve. Here are a few of our favorite hikes: Valley View Preserve: Fox Canyon / Foothill / Luci’s Loop Park on Signal Street near the Pratt Trailhead and walk up to Shelf Road. Hike up Shelf Road until you get to Luci’s Trail, which is just a five-minute walk past the Fox Canyon Trailhead (look for a mini-kiosk on your left). Luci’s 0.75-mile trail is short but steep. There are plenty of switchbacks and rock steps to climb, but the wildflower display in the spring makes this all worthwhile! At the top, make a left on Foothill Trail, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the valley. After .58 miles, turn left onto Fox Canyon Trail. Descend 800 feet in just over 1 mile

and return to Shelf Road. Ojai Meadows Preserve: Ojai Meadows Preserve Loop Trail This easygoing trail has posted signs with information about the preserve’s restoration, history and wildlife. The trail starts at the parking turnout on Highway 33, east of Nordhoff High School. Follow the trail, keeping the habitat fence on your left. The trail passes two seasonal vernal pools. The shallow ponds are depressions in the soil that fill during the winter rains. The trail continues along a footbridge over the pond, where you can pause to watch waterfowl and other birds enjoy this wetland oasis. More than 100 bird species have returned to the preserve since restoration

began. Continue, passing by a grove of eucalyptus trees on your right. If you are lucky, you might spot the nesting owls. Inside the habitat fencing, you will see the return of sagebrush, coyote brush, California buckwheat, mugwort, black sage and more — all of which were planted by the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy starting in 2006. As you head back toward the parking lot, you will pass by an open meadow, which comes alive in the spring. Ventura River Preserve The Ventura River Preserve, our largest preserve with 1,600 acres and more than 12 miles of trail, can serve as a playground for any-age explorer. Three trailheads provide easy access to this preserve: The Oso

OVLC Trail 101 free guided hikes with trained docents April 6, 8 to 10 a.m. Ojai Meadows Preserve: Birds & Natural History. April 12, 10 a.m. to noon Ojai Meadows Preserve: Wildflower Walk. April 13, noon to 2 p.m. Ojai Meadows Preserve: Wildflower Walk. April 27, time TBA Ventura River Preserve: Wills Canyon to El Nido Meadow. June 18, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Ventura River Preserve: Details TBA. Visit ovlc.org/events for more information, more walks and to register.

and Riverview trailheads in Meiners Oaks, and the Old Baldwin Trailhead in Mira Monte. From the Old Baldwin Trailhead, there is a short paved ADA-accessible trail, which then branches out into a series of Lower River Loop trails. If you park at the Oso Trailhead, you can be at the edge of the Ventura River within minutes. From here, you can rock hop across the Ventura River and hike along the Orange Grove Trail. This trail highlights one of our most recent restoration efforts — the conversion of an abandoned orange orchard into future coast live oak habitat. Or, for the more adventurous, you can connect many of the trails together, including the Chaparral Crest Trail and Oso Ridge Trail, and create an all-day adventure on foot, bike or horse. We especially love Wills Canyon Trail to El Nido Meadow with its old-growth oaks offering a beautiful shaded canyon walk. The options are endless! Do you want to hike in the Ojai Valley but aren’t quite sure where to start? Try Trail 101! These are guided hikes on our preserves with trained docents. Not only will you get to explore Ojai Valley Land Conservancy trails, you’ll also learn about the plants, wildlife and history of the preserve.

WHEELER GORGE VISITOR CENTER Open House Saturday April 27, 2019 10am-2pm

Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center hosts educational events each Saturday between May 18 and September 7. Pick up your copy of our 2019 Summer Event Program at the Center or online. The Visitor Center has information to help with your visit into the forest including maps, books, drinks and eats. Come meet our California Condor named "Freedom" along with displays of many of his local critter friends. We hope to see you soon at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.

17017 Maricopa Hwy (Hwy 33) Just 15 minutes from Ojai Open Saturday & Sunday / 9am - 3pm www.LPForest.org/Wheeler

Breakfast • Lunch • Happy HourS Organic, grain-fed, Grass-fed, free-range line-caught, and/or locally sourced

217 E Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023


info@sagemindfulmeals.com www.sagemindfulmeals.com

for over 60 wineries & 250 wines, more than 35 craft breweries, Lakefront VIP Lounge with Hors d’oeuvres, a selection of local restaurants, fine artisan vendors, silent auction, fine crystal souvenir wine glass, free boat rides and all-day entertainment!













Organically improving gardens through water catchment systems, composting, compost teas & extracts, and mulching. Native and Mediterranean garden specialists. Are you ready to switch to an appropriate Southern California landscape?

(805) 640-1827

Creating an edible, medicinal landscape Creating and supporting an edible and medicinal landscape in Ojai requires supporting the growth of diverse types of plants and nourishing the soil. We can choose plants that are easy to grow here while providing them the healthy soils they need.


ative plants are the first to investigate. Our native oak woodland is the most common and desirable in the Ojai Valley. It provides protein-rich nuts that can be a staple; or for those with more modern tastes, other overstory nut trees can be substituted, such as the pecan and walnut. Soil is fed by carbon and nitrogen, essential elements of living things. Bringing life to our soils involves planting nitrogen-fixing plants to shelter our soils from direct sun. Native landscapes do this with

lupine and ceanothus. Everything is connected in our edible ecosystem, and the design should consider development over time. Overstory nitrogen-fixing trees like tipu or acacia can be removed later as understory trees become canopy. A fast-growing food tree for the Ojai Valley is the mulberry. Persimmon, fig, loquat, pomegranate, jujube (Chinese date) all qualify as drought-tolerant food trees for our landscape. For a shade trellis, try passion fruit and grape. Interplant with medicinal herbs such

as rosemary, sage and thyme, and plant edible ground cover like strawberries and artichoke. Use self-seeding annual edibles and insectary plants such as arugula, chard and calendula. Nasturtiums work well, too. Apricots are tried and tested as a drought-tolerant fruit tree that works in our valley. When designing the landscape, think about diversity. Soil support can be by composting, which reunites us with the cycle of life. Using liquid-compost extracts

and particularly actively aerated compost teas helps return healthy biology to the roots of plants. This is one strategy of regenerative agriculture that we can apply at the homeowner scale. Plants feed soils and soils feed plants. Find out more about the Center of Regenerative Agriculture regeneration programs at ojaicra. org or contact me at info@ojaicra.org. David White, Ph.D., of Ojai is executive director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture.



Each day, our Executive Chef Juana Juarez and in-house dining staff take great pride in serving fresh, healthy, and delicious meals to our community. Locally sourced ingredients are included in all meals! Fruit trees line our campus, and Ojai’s Rio Gozo Farm sustainably cultivates organic herbs and veggies on eight acres of our campus’ land. This creates a unique farm-to-table experience full of seasonal, organic produce, while providing special learning opportunities for students studying Environmental Science and Sustainable Agriculture. We welcome you to arrange a visit, discover our school, and join us for lunch!

Farmer Lyz and Chef Juana talk kale on the campus farm.


GOOD TO KNOW Some fun facts and some not-so-fun facts about the environment Earth Day was founded by Sen. •Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. million people participated •in Twenty the first Earth Day. More than 100 billion pieces of • junk mail are delivered in the United States each year.

The United States buried or •burned more than 166 million tons of resources — paper, plastic, metals, glass and organic materials — in landfills and incinerators last year.

It only takes about six weeks total to •manufacture, fill, sell, recycle and then remanufacture an aluminum beverage can.

Half the world’s tropical and • temperate forests are now gone. Every year in the United States, nearly 200 billion •beverage containers are sold, two-thirds of which are landfilled, incinerated or littered. Recycling, reuse and •remanufacturing account for 3.1

million jobs in the United States.

three to five times •Recycling saves the energy that wasteincinerator power plants generate.

reducing our waste one percent •perByyear and recycling and composting

90 percent of our discards, by 2030, we could save 406 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year. This is the equivalent to shutting down 21 percent of our nation’s coal-fired power plants.

More than 76 percent of cardboard boxes and 72 percent of newspaper were recycled in 2006, but less than 50 percent of printing and writing paper was recycled.

The Gift of a Tree By Linda Harmon

On this Earth Day and every day, there is something each of us can do to mitigate climate change: Give everyone the gift of a tree; it is a gift that keeps on giving. “I have a message for all of Ojai: Now is the time to get new trees into the ground,” said Garrett Clifford, Ojai Trees Board president. Ojai Trees is your local nonprofit tree-planting organization founded in 2008 to ensure the survival of our urban forest. “Record-setting summer temperatures are increasing and concern is growing internationally about our changing environment,” Clifford said. “Planting and maintaining trees can make an immediate, significant and positive impact. We need to be smart about how and where we plant, but we need to plant.” “Catastrophic loss of our tree canopy will have consequences for human health and well-being,” according to a recent Los Angeles Times article. Tree loss would affect property values, air-conditioning costs, carbon storage, the removal of pollutants from the air we breathe and wildlife habitat. In the same

article, Mark Hoddle, director of UC Riverside’s Center for Invasive Species, predicts: “Without shade trees, water temperatures will rise and algae will bloom in riparian areas. As a result, fish, frog and native insect populations will diminish, along with the pleasure of hiking, because there’ll be nothing to look at but dead boughs of trees.” A treeless community sounds pretty dismal, but we aren’t there yet and that is why on this Earth Day, Ojai Trees is asking residents to plant native trees and keep the trees you have alive. We hope the residents of Ojai and our City Council will continue to take a proactive stance to protect our tree canopy. As our planting chant says, “Trees need people, people need trees.” Ojai’s trees need you. To find out more about our organization, its tree-dedication program, donate or get involved. Go to our website, www.ojaitrees.org, email us at trees@ojaitrees.org, and follow us on FaceBook.

Montessori School of Ojai Educating the individual Building Community Caring for the world Visit our beautiful 10-acre campus. Call for an observation. 806 W. Baldwin Road, Ojai CA 93023 (805) 649-2525 Montessorischoolofojai.org

INFANT - 8TH GRADE License # 566212532 & 561702317