Ark Chefs

Some of Our Guest Chefs and Featured Food Items:

Ryan Adams – Chef-Owner of Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink in Laguna Beach, a local favorite gastropub-style restaurant. Ryan often contributes his culinary talent to local sustainable, eco-friendly culinary events such as the Slow Food Bommer Canyon BBQ, cooking classes at Anneliese School, Green Feast at the Ecology Center, and a Transition Laguna Beach holiday party. Ryan’s Ark of Taste dish will feature a sausage made from American Plains Bison, Vela Dry Jack Cheese, local greens and a lime aioli.

Debra Sims – Executive chef at Maro Wood Grill, a Laguna Beach restaurant known for its creative, thoughtful food and support local farming, ranching and fishing. She will be preparing Bay Scallop Ceviche.

Vincent Lesage – Executive chef at the Balboa Bay Club. He will be creating Octopus Ceviche, Avocado puree,  Mission Olive Aioli, Jicama Salad and Micro Cilantro.

Michael Millar – Slow Food member will prepare Olympic Native Oysters, the only oyster native to the West Coast.

Nate Overstreet – Owner of Wheat and Sons in the Anaheim Packing District, he will be making Pork Rillon, Fire Roasted Mesquite and Blue Cornmeal.

Taylor Wright – The acclaimed pastry chef, recently returned from Australia just in time to bake Strawberry Shortcakes made with Red Fife Wheat.

Paul Chamberlin – Chef-Owner of Boldo, a seriously local restaurant opening this Spring on the 4th Street Promenade in Santa Ana where ingredients will be sourced from within Orange County. Paul is also working to develop a Restaurant Supported Agriculture program and a Yard Farming Initiative. He will lead the children’s program.

Kerri Annick Cacciata – Chef-Owner of Local Tastes Better, offering sustainable dinners and catering. Kerry also conducts DIY workshops at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano and the Center for Living Peace. She will be preparing House Cured Grape Leaves with Indian Spiced Anishaabeg Wild Rice, Halloumi Cheese and Chef’s Garden Herbs.

Amber Billiard – Craft bartender at SideDoor, will mix a unique Ark of Taste Cocktail “Riki Tiki Tacy” using American Rye Whiskey as well as a non-alcoholic drink “Life’s a Peach”.

Aquafarm will provide Olympic Native Oysters, the only oyster native to the West Coast. Carlsbad Aquafarm is Southern California’s only aquafarm growing eco-friendly mussels, oysters, clams, abalone, scallops and culinary seaweed since 1990 in Carlsbad, California. Seafood for the Future and Aquarium of the Pacific of Long Beach proudly support Carlsbad Aquafarms’ efforts to provide fresh, local and sustainable seafood products.

2015 TerraVita Herbal Symposium Schedule

Teachers and classes are subject to change.

Teacher Bios.

Saturday, February 28th

9-9:30 a.m.: Opening and Introduction in Great Hall

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.:  Attendees can take one of the following classes…

  • Conversations On Health: Inside the Mind of a Seasoned Sagittarian Herbalist with James Green
  • Medicinal Mushrooms & Mushroom Cultivation with Karen Aguila and Terri Jensen
  • The Balance of Blood Sugar with Shana Lipner Grover
  • Planning, Planting and Maintaining Your Medicinal Herb Garden with Julie James

12- 1:30 p.m.: Vegetarian lunch included

1:30-4 p.m.:  Attendees can take one of the following classes…

  • TBA with Howie Brounstein
  • Returning to Ease: Flower essences to support pleasure and well being with Mark D’ Aquila
  • Mindful Eating and Gardening with Deborah Eden Tull
  • Herbal Support for Body Systems with Julie James

4 p.m.-8 p.m.: Market Place, United Plant Savers Auction/Raffle and Herbal Festivities (open to the public)


Sunday, March 1st

9-9:30 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction of the teachers

9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Children’s Program sponsored by Earthroots Field School – includes lunch.

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: Attendees can take one of the following classes…

  • TBA with Howie Brounstein
  • Power of the Sea with Trish Gallagher
  • Health Care for Men and Boys: Information given in celebration of Male Playfulness, Health & Well-being • Lively libidos • Hearty erectile function & Happy loving lust with James Green

12-1:30 p.m: Vegetarian lunch included

1:30-4 p.m: Attendees can take one of the following classes…

  • Mucous and you, managing the flow! With Shana Lipner Grover
  • Advanced medicine making techniques (understanding plant constituents and how to best extract them), and how to do percolations with Karen and Terri
  • Happy Healthy Children: Supporting children’s emotional, social, scholastic health and spirit with flower essences with Mark D’Aquila

4 p.m.: Closing circle in the Great Hall


Laguna Beach Tour De Coop — Coops



This year we have nearly a dozen coops in the 2013 Laguna Beach Tour De Coop. Read the coop bios below to find out more about each coop.  Addresses for the coops will be provided at check-in locations on the day of the event. More coop bios will be added shortly…


Reem and Zia Spreading the word at the Laguna Beach Farmer’s Market!










Clara and Jake Candelaria’s Coop:


The idea of raising chickens occured when I planned to retire.  I was on a trip and picked up Chickens 101 and I was hooked. Jake built the coop after researching chicken coops on line.  He found what he needed and after 3 weeks we have a custom built coop to the amount of $550.00.  We purchased the materials at Home Depot.  We bought the chicks, feed, food and water containers at the Wagon Wheel in Tustin.  We bought the large feeder and water fountain for the coop at the Feed Barn in Capo Beach. You really get to know your hens the first 8 weeks because they have to be kept warm under a heat lamp [45watt bulb] in a large pet  porter.  We kept them on a table in our family room.  I took them out every night and cuddled them which they begged to do after a few days.  They would wait by the door.  I am now Mother Hen!! Our hens are Pippi [Americana], Marilyn Monroe [Sex Link], Dottie [Lace Winged Wyandot], and Lorpe [Australorpe]. They are fed fresh spinach and a slice of watermelon every day and are living comfortably in the coop.  [Fort Knox]  Predator proof.


Pamela Hagen’s Coop:

IMG_6377Great pets for my grandchildren..I also have a large Rhode Island Red for eggs. I came into chickens as a young girl, my mother got me a bunch and I have been a chicken mom often since then, they can be great fun!






Dominic+Lisa Pitz’s Coop:

photoNumber of Chickens:   9

Coop Construction Details: The coop itself is made of 2 x 4s and plywood. It has a place for the hens to roost at night and 3 egg boxes. The enclosure is electric netting on the bottom and nylon netting on top.

Right now I have 2 hens laying eggs — a Silver Laced Wyndotte and a Gold Laced Wyndotte. All my other chickens are Pullets which should start laying in a couple months. I have 3 Arracanas which will lay green eggs,2 Austrolorps,1 cochin and 1 silkie.



Tim and Sandy Jones Coop:

coopNumber of Chickens:   7

Coop Construction Details: I spent a lot of time looking at coop designs on the internet and incorporated all of the features I liked into our design.   My favorite is the access to the nesting boxes from the outside.

We left an existing camellia bush inside of the enclosure and my White Crested Black Polish sleeps in it every night!






Mary Deluca’s Coop:

I bought basic standard plans from a while back knowing that I would need to modify the plans to suit our non-level lot. The only available space required a 12′ x 4′ split-level design.

The actual building of the split level coop was easy, it was the site prep that took the bulk of my effort. I had to move massive amounts of dirt to create a level surface. Also, fearing rodents, raccoons, and coyotes, I dug out an extra foot so that I could put down wire cloth underneath the floor of the coop to ensure that my coop was burrow resistant.

I’m so happy with the results, and proud of my work. It took me a while, as I’m a high school teacher so I had

Herbal Symposium Instructors


Shana Lipner Grover:

My name is Shana Lipner Grover and I’m a nature lover, plant medicine explorer and Clinical Herbalist,  working with plant medicine and nutrition for over 15 years.  Sage Country Herbs is a blossoming herbal school and business that is the result of my many years of working and playing in nature.  We have a Botanical Medicine Apprenticeship that is 80% field classes and an ever expanding herbal product line by the same name.  You can find me in Escondido and Laguna Hills regularly teaching  more than 300 hours of classes on Nutrition and Herbal Medicine at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.  I love to teach and do so whenever I get the opportunity; herb conferences, symposiums and guest lecturing at numerous higher learning establishments; Bastyr University, Prescott college, CSULA PreMed and for Columbines School of Botanical Study in Eugene Oregon, of which I am a graduate. My time is spent going for hikes, exploring ecology as well as offering plant walks, workshops and teaching about local, native and medicinal plants.  I have a clinical practice in North County San Diego with a focus on empowering people and their health through nutrition, lifestyle, and herbal medicine.  Find us at


Julie James: 

Julie James is an herbalist and director of Green Wisdom Herbal Studies, providing herbal education opportunities for people all over Southern California. After almost 3 decades of formal study, apprenticeship, consulting and teaching, she now focuses on expanding understanding of traditional Western herbalism, deep plant love, medicine-making, wellness and holistic nutrition. She has taught for numerous organizations and events, and is the founder of the Roots of Healing Collective and Herb Fest in Southern California. She is the Herbalist-In-Residence for the historic community garden Proyecto Jardin in Boyle Heights, CA, and has created a large body of herbal education curricula for adults and children. Teaching about plant medicines is her passion and her joy. Visit her and check out the calendar of upcoming classes and events at


James GreenJames Green:

James is an Herbalist Health Practitioner currently living and practicing in La Quinta and at In Harmony Herbs and Spices in Ocean Beach, California. He has studied and taught the art and science of Herbalism for the past forty+ years. During this time, he wrote and published two herbals, The Male Herbal – health care for men and boys and The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook – a home manual. James founded Simplers Botanical Co., was the owner and director of The California School of Herbal Studies for seventeen years, is a founding member and past executive council member of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), and is a founding member of the United Plant Savers (UpS) -an association of professional herbalists dedicated to preserving the wild stands of America’s indigenous medicinal plants.


Mark D’Aquila:
New PicMark is the founder of Essence Alchemy and a certified flower essence therapist and producer living in Ojai California. He has been studying flower essence therapy since1997 and has trained with the Northeast Flower Essence Collaborative and the Flower Essence Society. Currently Mark is researching plants from the Ojai and Mt. Shasta bio-regions as well as the California deserts, and his research includes essences from Hawaii and Europe. As a healer his primary interest is finding the emotional, psychological, and spiritual roots of imbalances and identifying patterns of behavior that cause suffering. Mark is dedicated to being a bridge for the deeper healing message of the plant kingdom, for those who need healing. He delights in teaching about the simplicity and depth of healing that is possible with flower essences. Mark offers both personal consultations and essences/products through
Deborah Eden-Tull:
IMG_1878Deborah is the founder of Mindful Living Revolution and a meditation and mindfulness teacher, author, public speaker, and sustainability consultant. She has been traveling to, living in, or teaching about sustainable communities for over 20 years, including seven years as a monk at a Zen Monastery. Eden has been an organic gardener and farmer for many years, and is the author of The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution (Process Media 2010).  Eden offers retreats, workshops, and personal consultations nationally and she also teaches for UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Eden is also a facilitator of The Work That Reconnects, as created by eco-philolopher Joanna Macy. She currently resides in Ojai, California and is finishing a book about the connection between mindfulness and personal/global sustainability.

Karen Aguiar & Terri Jensen:

unnamedKaren and Terri have been making plant-based medicines for almost 20 years. Together they own and operate The Herbal Apothecary, a full-line herbal pharmacy, they organize the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, and they are on the faulty of the California School of Herbal Studies in northern California. They have been doing (and loving) all of this for a really long time. Find out more at and


Howie Brounstein:

howie.bHowie has been a professional herbalist/botanist for over twenty years. His is the primary instructor of the Columbine School of Botanical Studies in Eugene Oregon. He has taught botany, herbalism and wildcrafting extensively for decades, including such herbal establishment as the Southwest School of botanical Medicine. He was the owner of Columbines and Wizardry Herbs and is active in national and internationally in protected plants and ecological assessments. How=ie has clinical practice in Eugene, Oregon
Trish Gallagher:
trish bio photo







Earthroots Field School:



Earthroots Field School leads classes year round on organic gardening, survival skills, herbal medicine making, cooking with whole foods, permaculture, bird language, animal tracking, natural building and natural crafts. All programs are outdoors and hands-on, to cultivate a sense of care and connection between people and the natural world. Earthroots programs take place in Orange County, California for kids of all ages, teens and adults.  Earthroots instructors use the art of questioning to inspire curiosity and bring awareness to how all of life is connected. Our 39 acre property, Big Oak Canyon, is becoming a regional demonstration center for habitat restoration, permaculture design and environmental education.
For more information and to get involved:

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