Date: April 19, 2018 (doors open 7:00 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)
Speaker: Michael Wilken
Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)
For thousands of years, the Kumeyaay people of northern Baja California and southern California made their homes in the diverse landscapes of the region, interacting with native plants and continuously refining their botanical knowledge. Today, many Kumeyaay Indians in the far-flung ranches of Baja California carryon the traditional knowledge and skills for transforming native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items.
This not to be missed talk as well as the book, Kumeyaay Ethnobotany, explores the remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias. The book, through in-depth descriptions of 47 native plants and their uses with lively narratives and vivid photographs connects the archaeological and historical record with living cultures and native plant specialists who share their ever relevant wisdom for future generations.
Anthropologist Michael Wilken-Robertson’s lifelong collaborative relationships with Native Baja Californians have allowed him to explore traditional indigenous uses of plants in the diverse habitats of their territory, from the ancient past into the present. He currently teaches in the department of anthropology at California State University San Marcos.
Michael’s Book will be for sale and can be signed by the author!
OCCNPS AND THE NON-TOXIC MOVEMENT
OCCNPS POSITION ON HERBICIDE USE: OCCNPS has no opinion on which, or whether, herbicides may or may not be used in manicured parks, medians, school grounds or similar sites. Our concern is that synthetic herbicides (e.g. glyphosate, aka Roundup) remain available as a necessary option, a part of the Integrated Weed Management (IWM) tool kit for management of invasive plants in natural open spaces. (Both CNPS and Cal-IPC have relevant policies—see their websites.)
Use of herbicides on non-native plants growing in natural-habitat open spaces has a fundamentally different purpose from cosmetic use of herbicides in urban/suburban settings. In natural areas, the purpose is to remove invasives so that the native ecosystem can fully function, with the full range of native plants and the animals that feed on and live in them.
In particular, non-native plants do not provide the food needed by most native insects. The absence of these insects in turn lessens the ability of native birds, reptiles, and small mammals to eat and reproduce, which in turn affects the rest of the ecosystem. An area grown with mostly non-native plants is often MUCH less biodiverse than a similar-sized area of native plants.
Native Gardeners Corner—Tips, Tricks and Techniques
This regular newsletter feature offers chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. The question for this issue: Which native culinary plants and edibles are your favorites?
J. Mark Sugars—“Fragaria vesca (Woodland Strawberry) has been very successful in my yard, and is a dependable source of tasty little berries every year. For an intense and distinctive tea, there's nothing quite like Salvia apiana (White Sage).”
Rama Nayeri—“My favorite edible California native plant is Satureja douglasii – Yerba Buena. Not only is this plant easy to grow, but you can use the leaves in herbal tea, cook with it like you would with mint and eat the leaf like a breath mint.”
Brad Jenkins—“For just eating reasons, Southern California Wild Grape, also known as the Desert Grape (Vitis girdiana) supplies tangy tendrils for snacking, leaves for cooking, and fruit for dessert. Water needs are somewhat high, so plant beside a fence bordering an HOA or neighbor that irrigates regularly. (Yes, this is said with a grin.) Growth is rampant, so I pulled one out after a few years, but the food production level is wonderful.”