May
1
0

Channel Islands Adventure

Travel with Robin on a short journey to a distant world…
Beach Overlook_San Miguel Isl_8091
The Channel Islands Expedition
Sponsored by The SummerTree Institute
September 18 – 21, 2019

~ We invite you to join us for this unforgettable, four-day adventure on board a comfortable vessel, the Vision. Aboard ship, we will be surrounded by abundant and diverse ocean life that includes whales, dolphins, seals, and a variety of colorful fish, whose stories will be told by veteran Expeditions Director, Doug Thompson. On land, botanist Robin Kobaly will guide you through natural habitats and endemic plants that time has passed by on these remote islands…

Discover California as it was centuries ago…

Hiking through Santa Cruz Island’s woodlands

If you are yearning for an unforgettable adventure, we invite you to join Robin, Doug, and the staff of The SummerTree Institute for a four-day adventure to the Channel Islands, one of the most isolated, unique, and beautiful island chains in the world — only 25 miles from Southern California’s busy coastline, but a world away.
With a comfortable 85-foot vessel serving as home base, we will visit three of the magnificent islands: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands, exploring their stunning natural diversity on land and sea. This is our sixth expedition to the magical Channel Islands. We will explore many sea caves, including Painted Cave, one of the largest sea caves known. Whether walking on pristine beaches, kayaking in beautiful coves, stand-up paddling along natural coastlines, snorkling in bountiful underwater “Marine Protected Areas”, or hiking on trails used by ancient Chumash Indians, you will be transported into another world.

The Beautiful Channel Islands ~

Exploring sea caves by kayak

Exploring sea caves by kayak

Be transported to the California of centuries past, where the only footprints will be yours and the wildlife’s. Hike, snorkel, kayak, stand-up paddle, swim, whale watch, or just laze on the boat – you will be enchanted with whatever activities you choose. Between adventures, all of your meals will be lovingly prepared  from fresh ingredients, with choices for various tastes and diets.

Expedition Details ~

For more information about this exciting adventure,

You may also email our expedition leader, Doug Thompson, at doug@summertree.org.

 

Explore kelp beds, sea caves, island coastlines…and more!

Walking Beach_San Miguel_6872

Walking San Miguel Island’s sandy beach

  • WHEN: 4 days & 4 nights, from boarding on Tuesday evening, September 17, after 8 pm, until returning late afternoon on Saturday, September 21, 2019.
  • WHERE: The boat leaves from Santa Barbara Harbor.
  • PRICE: Entire expedition: $975 per person; $300 deposit is required to hold your reservation.
    $200 per person is tax-deductible for this expedition (The SummerTree Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization).
  • SIGN UP NOW: Since this trip always fills up quickly, we encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible. We hope you are able to join us!

 

 

The SummerTree Institute
Making Environmental Education Irresistible

May
1
0

Native Desert Tea Class

Surprisingly healing and healthy natural gifts await our discovery in the leaves, stems, flowers, roots, and fruits of our desert plants, made available to us through teas and beverages. Explore the useful remedies, health benefits, and aids to well-being in each of a dozen desert native plants as you taste and experience each one brewed into a tea, and learn each tea’s wellness gifts. Create your own custom blend of dried tea to take home and brew yourself. Our classes and workshops show you easy, fun, and healthy ways to incorporate our native plants into your life. Come enjoy learning with us!

Making Native Desert Teas
for Health, Healing, & Well-being
with Robin Kobaly

Saturday, June 8th, 2019 | 12:30 – 3:30 pm ~ Class Full

3-Hour Tea-making Workshop at The Plant Yoda’s Den

Great fun, lots of demonstrations, samples, and displays!
Make your own custom blend to brew at home…

PresenterRobin KobalyBotanist, Founder and President of
The Power of Plants, and Executive Director of  The SummerTree Institute

  • Saturday June 8, 2019 
                   12:30 – 3:30 pm

  • The Plant Yoda’s Den
                   Morongo Valley, CA 92256 ~ Directions sent upon registration

  • Workshop registration includes:

                  ~ 3-hour workshop with displays & demonstrations

                  ~ Hands-on plant specimens for identification

                  ~ Helpful handouts

                  ~ Sample teas brewed from local native plants

                  ~ Your own custom tea blend to take home and brew

  • Fee: $65

                  ~ Enrollment is limited. Please reserve early to assure your spot.

This three-hour workshop offers a hands-on exploration of ancient and traditional uses of desert plants as teas and beverages, and gives you the opportunity to taste a dozen powerful but soothing plants as teas. Explore the healing and health properties of each native plant, and learn how to harvest, dry, store, and prepare them for your own use. This brand new workshop includes demonstrations and samples, plus tips on identifying each plant, as well as discussions about harvesting native plant species in a respectful and sustainable way.

Each workshop is unique, as we include native plants that are in season at that time, so we can sample flower buds, blossoms, fruit, roots, shoots, and seeds that are ready for harvest at that time. You will be empowered to learn about the local native plants that may be growing in your own back yard that are just waiting for you to discover their useful properties as refreshing, calming, and healing teas. You may look at our desert native plants with a new perspective after experiencing this intimate workshop.

Join us in the intimate setting of the unique and creative “Plant Yoda’s Den”, the home where Robin grew up, and where her mother, Babs Kobaly, taught her own native plant use classes for forty years. Babs had transformed her home into part apothecary, part art-house, and part fantasy world for her grandchildren, reflecting her passions as a native plant teacher, fanciful artist, and playful kid-lover.  In honor of her late mother, the great room of Babs’ home has been remodeled to open it up for classes and workshops on the very topics that she and Babs researched together as Robin grew up.

To reserve your space, or for more information
about this event:

Call The Power of Plants (760) 363-1166

Or email robin@powerofplants.com

 You may reserve your space and enroll now:

# of Participants


You may also reserve your space and enroll
by sending a check for $65 per participant to:


The Power of Plants
P.O. Box 800
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Note: Please call or email us before sending your check to make sure we reserve your spot. Workshops fill up very fast.

Click flyer to view full-size

Check out our other events and workshops!  

Apr
30
0

Harvesting Yucca flowers

Part of my appreciation of our native desert plants comes from the indispensable gifts that these plants have provided for millennia to humans, wildlife, birds, insects, soils, and the whole ecosystem. Indigenous peoples have long valued and used native desert plants for food, medicine, healing, shelter, clothing, utensils, and ceremony.

I would like to share some of these uses that we can incorporate into our lives today, but this comes with a responsibility to reciprocate thoughtful care and stewardship for these tenacious but fragile desert dwellers. I always encourage respectful harvesting and mindful use of our native plants (join one of our classes to find out how!). I also strongly encourage the purchase and planting of native plants in our own yards, especially if we want to harvest their gifts regularly (see Native Plant Nurseries for nurseries that sell California native plants). By incorporating plants native to our own region into our yards, we also help sustain native butterflies, birds, wildlife, and migration corridors for all of them, as well as reducing our dependence on added water, fertilizers, and pesticides in our yards (and growing plants that thrive in our climate reduces our time and cost in maintaining our yard). It is truly a win-win scenario.

Spring is the season to try sautéed flowers and flower buds of Mojave Yucca, Yucca schidigera. All of the Mojave Yuccas in our yard are blossoming this spring from the ample rains we received from October to February, and we have harvested some of the flowers and buds for dinner. The flowers and flower buds of Mojave Yucca were roasted or first parboiled then roasted and eaten by indigenous peoples, although the fruits were the most favored part of the plant for eating. I prefer the taste of the sautéed buds to the flowers, but both are enjoyable when sautéed lightly in olive oil, with a shake of salt and pepper. The older flowers become slightly bitter with age as they begin producing more saponins; cooking or boiling breaks down the soap-like saponins. If the flowers you find are at full maturity, check out higher elevations to find younger flowers or unopened flower buds. Native Americans parboiled older flowers before roasting them to remove the bitterness and saponins. A little later in the season, as the fruit pods start to ripen, we will post about how to harvest and prepare the pods either roasted or dried as a fruit leather or mashed into a sweet meal.

Clockwise photos from upper left:

  1. Mojave Yucca in bloom
  2. Washing harvested flowers and buds
  3. Opened flower and unopened flower buds
  4. Mojave Yucca flowers sautéed in olive oil
  5. Washed yucca flower buds
  6. Sautéed flower buds in olive oil

Mojave Yucca plant parts traditionally used:

  • Leaf fibers – Bowstrings, netting, ropes, mats, brushes for body painting and pottery, coiled rope soles for sandals, starting material for baskets, saddle blankets, and strings for shell money
  • Seed pods – Toy animals for children, with sticks added for legs; pods roasted when green to eat, or dried and pounded into a sweet meal
  • Flowers – Young flowers roasted or sautéed, older flowers parboiled and then panfried, dried to preserve
  • Flower buds – Unopened flower buds roasted or sautéed and eaten
  • Roots – Mashed & mixed with water for soap
  • Seeds – Necklaces
Jan
2
0

Joy of Gardening Class

Beautiful, drought-tolerant, southwest desert plants can add richness and enjoyment to your garden, supplement your edible garden offerings, and enhance the  lives of your neighborhood songbirds and wildlife. Learn how to plant, irrigate, and care for your native plant garden, with inspiring classroom instruction, displays, and handouts.  Our classes and workshops show you easy, fun, and healthy ways to incorporate our native plants into your life. Come enjoy learning with us!

The Joy of Gardening
with Desert Native Plants
with Robin Kobaly

Saturday, April 13th, 2019 | 12:30 – 4:30 pm – Class Full

  

YardDesign_cropFRAMED_CYMK

4-Hour Workshop

The Plant Yoda’s Den

Inspiring classroom presentation, hands-on displays, handouts

PresenterRobin Kobaly—Botanist, Founder and President of
The Power of Plants, and Executive Director of The SummerTree Institute

 

  • Saturday April 13, 2019

                   12:30 – 4:30 pm

  • The Plant Yoda’s Den (classroom)

                   Morongo Valley, CA 92256
                   Directions sent upon registration

  • Workshop registration includes:

              ~ 4-hour workshop includes classroom instruction

              ~ Hands-on plant specimens for identification

              ~ Helpful handouts

 

  • Fee: $55

              ~ Enrollment is limited. Please reserve early to assure your spot.

We present this workshop in the intimate setting of the unique and creative “Plant Yoda’s Den”, the home where Robin grew up, and where her mother, Babs Kobaly, taught her own native plant use classes for forty years. Babs had transformed her home into part apothecary, part art-house, and part fantasy world for her grandchildren, reflecting her passions as a native plant teacher, fanciful artist, and playful kid-lover.  In honor of her late mother, the great room of Babs’ home has been remodeled to open it up for classes and workshops on the very topics that she and Babs researched together as Robin grew up.

In the classroom we will explore why native plants are the perfect choice for southwest homes, and why their adaptations are so important for a sustainable, enjoyable, and low-maintenance landscape. During our workshop, you will learn how to plant, irrigate, and care for your native plant garden. 

To reserve your space, or for more information
about this event:

Call The Power of Plants  (760) 363-1166
Or email robin@powerofplants.com

 You may reserve your space and enroll now:


# of Participants



(Note: Purchases made with a non-PayPal credit card may post to your statement
as a purchase made in San Jose, PayPal’s corporate office)

You may also reserve your space (please email or call us first to ensure we still have spaces available) and enroll by sending a check for $55 to:

The Power of Plants
P.O. Box 800
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Click flyer to view full-size

Check out our other events and workshops!

Hardy and helpful southwest desert plants can add richness to your kitchen, your medicine chest, your home, and your garden, as well as enhancing the  lives of your neighborhood songbirds and wildlife.  Our classes and workshops show you easy, fun, and healthy ways to incorporate our native plants into your life. Come enjoy learning with us!

Healing, Helpful, & Edible Southwest Native Plants:
How to Grow, Harvest, & Prepare Them
with Robin Kobaly

Saturday, April 6th, 2019 | 12:30 – 4:30 pm

Class Full

4-Hour Workshop at The Plant Yoda’s Den

Great fun, lots of demonstrations, samples, and displays!

PresenterRobin KobalyBotanist, Founder and President of
The Power of Plants, and Executive Director of  The SummerTree Institute

  • Saturday April 6, 2019 
                   12:30 – 4:30 pm

  • The Plant Yoda’s Den
                   Morongo Valley, CA 92256 ~ Directions sent upon registration

  • Workshop registration includes:

                  ~ 4-hour workshop with displays & demonstrations

                  ~ Hands-on plant specimens for identification

                  ~ Helpful handouts

                  ~ Samples served for edible plants

  • Workshop Fee: $55

                  ~ Enrollment is limited. Please reserve early to assure your spot.

This four-hour workshop offers a fascinating look at ancient and traditional uses of desert medicinal and food plants, and presents ways to adapt those uses to fit today’s needs. Find out why these powerful native plants’ survival strategies make them so useful to us today. Explore which native food and healing plants can be used successfully and safely, and explore the many other benefits of growing these amazing herbal remedies, edible harvests, and utilitarian providers in your own yard. This popular workshop includes demonstrations and samples, plus tips on identifying and growing each plant, as well as discussions about harvesting native plant species in a respectful and sustainable way.

Join us in the intimate setting of the unique and creative “Plant Yoda’s Den”, the home where Robin grew up, and where her mother, Babs Kobaly, taught her own native plant use classes for forty years. Babs had transformed her home into part apothecary, part art-house, and part fantasy world for her grandchildren, reflecting her passions as a native plant teacher, fanciful artist, and playful kid-lover.  In honor of her late mother, the great room of Babs’ home has been remodeled to open it up for classes and workshops on the very topics that she and Babs researched together as Robin grew up.

We invite you to experience this legendary locale as we introduce you to our desert native plants through an immersive approach — through smell, taste, touch, and sight — all with accounts of each plant’s special gifts and traditional powers that can be incorporated into modern-day life. Workshop participants will explore hardy and helpful wild desert plants that can add richness to your kitchen, your medicine chest, your home, and your garden, as well as enhancing the lives of your neighborhood wildlife.

It’s fun learning how our native desert plants can serve as food, beverages, art, musical instruments, utensils, and healing remedies for humans. Each workshop is unique, as we include native plants that are in season at that time, so we can sample flower buds, blossoms, fruit, roots, shoots, and seeds that are ready for harvest at that time. You will look at our desert native plants with a new perspective after experiencing this comprehensive workshop.


To reserve your space
, or for more information
about this event:

Call The Power of Plants (760) 363-1166

Or email robin@powerofplants.com

You may reserve your space and enroll now in the workshop:


# of Participants

(Note: Purchases made with a non-PayPal credit card may post to your statement
as a purchase made in San Jose, PayPal’s corporate office)

You may also reserve your space and enroll by sending a check for $55 per participant to:
The Power of Plants
P.O. Box 800
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Note: Please call or email us before sending your check to make sure we reserve your spot. Workshops fill up very fast.

Click flyer to view full-size

Check out our other events and workshops!  

Surprisingly healing and healthy natural gifts await our discovery in the leaves, stems, flowers, roots, and fruits of our desert plants, made available to us through teas and beverages. Explore the useful remedies, health benefits, and aids to well-being in each of a dozen desert native plants as you taste and experience each one brewed into a tea, and learn each tea’s wellness gifts. Create your own custom blend of dried tea to take home and brew yourself. Our classes and workshops show you easy, fun, and healthy ways to incorporate our native plants into your life. Come enjoy learning with us!

Making Native Desert Teas
for Health, Healing, & Well-being
with Robin Kobaly

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 | 12:30 – 3:30 pm – Class Full

Added Date: Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 | 12:30 – 3:30 pm – Full

3-Hour Tea-making Workshop at The Plant Yoda’s Den

Great fun, lots of demonstrations, samples, and displays!
Make your own custom blend to brew at home…

PresenterRobin KobalyBotanist, Founder and President of
The Power of Plants, and Executive Director of  The SummerTree Institute

  • Saturday March 9, 2019 – Class Full
                   12:30 – 3:30 pm

  • Saturday March 23, 2019 – New added date; Class Full
                   12:30 – 3:30 pm

  • The Plant Yoda’s Den
                   Morongo Valley, CA 92256 ~ Directions sent upon registration

  • Workshop registration includes:

                  ~ 3-hour workshop with displays & demonstrations

                  ~ Hands-on plant specimens for identification

                  ~ Helpful handouts

                  ~ Sample teas brewed from local native plants

                  ~ Your own custom tea blend to take home and brew

  • Fee: $55

                  ~ Enrollment is limited. Please reserve early to assure your spot.

 

This three-hour workshop offers a hands-on exploration of ancient and traditional uses of desert plants as teas and beverages, and gives you the opportunity to taste a dozen powerful but soothing plants as teas. Explore the healing and health properties of each native plant, and learn how to harvest, dry, store, and prepare them for your own use. This brand new workshop includes demonstrations and samples, plus tips on identifying each plant, as well as discussions about harvesting native plant species in a respectful and sustainable way.

Each workshop is unique, as we include native plants that are in season at that time, so we can sample flower buds, blossoms, fruit, roots, shoots, and seeds that are ready for harvest at that time. You will be empowered to learn about the local native plants that may be growing in your own back yard that are just waiting for you to discover their useful properties as refreshing, calming, and healing teas. You may look at our desert native plants with a new perspective after experiencing this intimate workshop.

Join us in the intimate setting of the unique and creative “Plant Yoda’s Den”, the home where Robin grew up, and where her mother, Babs Kobaly, taught her own native plant use classes for forty years. Babs had transformed her home into part apothecary, part art-house, and part fantasy world for her grandchildren, reflecting her passions as a native plant teacher, fanciful artist, and playful kid-lover.  In honor of her late mother, the great room of Babs’ home has been remodeled to open it up for classes and workshops on the very topics that she and Babs researched together as Robin grew up.

To reserve your space, or for more information
about this event:

Call The Power of Plants (760) 363-1166

Or email robin@powerofplants.com

You may reserve your space and enroll now for the March 23rd workshop:


# of Participants


You may also reserve your space and enroll
by sending a check for $55 per participant to:


The Power of Plants
P.O. Box 800
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Note: Please call or email us before sending your check to make sure we reserve your spot. Workshops fill up very fast.

Click flyer to view full-size

Check out our other events and workshops!