Poison Oak Remedy

The woods are aflame with Toxicodendron diversilobum, Pacific poison oak. Like a  fastly spreading fire, its red leaves skip across the forest floor and leap high up our California oaks. For many years we tried to rid the ranch of poison oak, annoyed by its impact on us—red rashes and blisters that lasted weeks. We told ourselves… Read more »

Signs of the Turning of the Seasons Already?

Signs of the Turning of the Seasons Already? The poison oak on our property is one of the first plants to exhibit fall colors, and it is beautiful!  Here it is, and it is only the beginning of summer!

Quail Tales

Mr. Quail. The Mrs. is in front of him, her head obscured by the blurry grape leaf. The goats heard the alarm cry this morning before I did: Te-te-te-te! Te-te-te-te! They stopped, and a quail couple trotted through the fence and into the vineyard. We won’t hurt you, I said softly, but nevertheless, they ran into… Read more »


Yarrow bed. Behind bed is sticky monkeyflower, poison oak, and coyote bush. Yarrow is one of the flowers that make up the six compost preparations. It grows abundantly in several grassy places on our ranch. Last year’s growth remains as straight stems. Yarrow likes to grow with soap root and coyote bush. Steiner held that… Read more »

When not to pet a goat…

Petunia at work clearing fresh shoots of poison oak. When the goat has been wading through tender shoots of poison oak! View Our Lavender Products

Good Goat!!

Agaleah at work on spring’s first poison oak. There is an old practice, I am told, for building immunity to poison oak. You are to eat a leaf of the plant each day for two weeks, starting when the leaves are tiny and first unfurling from their buds. In this way, you get progressively larger… Read more »