Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Words by Misty Hall/Photos by Nathan Wickstrum

I love this time of year. The plants are just starting to wake up, turning the hills an increasingly vibrant shade of green. In some places, the wildflowers are already starting their show. And with all the rain we’ve had so far this season — 20 inches in Ojai and 34 inches up at Nordhoff Ridge, according to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District — there’s actually
water flowing!

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Good People Making Great Beer

Good People Making Great Beer

Words by Misty Hall

When I first met Jack Dyer, he and his wife, Kelley, had recently moved to Ojai with the dream of starting a brewery here. As a local journalist (and, I’ll confess, a craft beer lover) I followed Jack and his business partners through their attempts to develop a taproom on a parcel east of the Park and Ride. For a variety of reasons, the project never quite got off the ground.

Jack and his partners turned their focus to Ventura, where they found an ideal spot near the beach for the first Topa Topa Brewing Company taproom. About a year later, they began plans to expand to a second taproom, this one in Santa Barbara. While those two locations kept them plenty busy, Ojai was still on their minds.

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MOtown

MOtown

Words/Photos by Misty Hall

I’ve lived in just about every community within the Ojai Valley — Ojai proper, Upper Ojai, Oak View, and even up Maricopa Highway past the point of cell phone service.

But I have to say, Meiners Oaks is one of my favorites.

Located in the west end of the valley, it’s rural yet there’s tons to do, see, buy, eat, and experience within walking distance. It’s funky and diverse, but still maintains that quaint charm the Ojai Valley has become known for, with its cute, oak-studded neighborhoods and an awesome nickname: MOtown.

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Ojai Meadows Preserve

Ojai Meadows Preserve

By Misty Hall

Growing up, we were told not to go into that field next to Nordhoff High School; it was trashy and full of questionable characters (well, as questionable as they got in Ojai).

Today, just a couple of decades later, it’s a radically different place.

It now boasts an incredible array of native plants, birds, and other animal species, making it a gem that many people (even locals) barely know about. It’s one of my favorite spots to take family portraits, or just to take a walk and explore.

 

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