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If you were an early riser in Ojai on July Fourth, maybe you glimpsed the Ventura Brush Goats’ herd of 100 herbivores trot quickly through the…

Claud Mann is one of Ojai’s most beloved foodies, whose long career has seen him work as a chef, restaurant consultant, TV cooking show host, food writer and publisher, and healthy school meals advocate. Now, his passion is sourdough bread, and as the co-owner of Ojai Rôtie, he’s in charge of baking hundreds of loaves each week, which are available at the restaurant as well as the Ojai Farmers Market on Sunday mornings. He speaks to Kerstin Kuhn about his lifelong love of feeding people and why sourdough bread is a pursuit not for the fainthearted.

“With rugs made from microplastics, you are separating yourself from the earth when you step on them. All these synthetics and plastics and the things that are supposed to make life ‘easier’ and ‘cheaper’ — they’re not healthier and they’re not connected or grounded to the earth.” — Moorea Morehart

“You feel love’s presence in nature,” Christine Morehart reminds me as we roam through her Ojai orange grove under late-summer blue skies. Moorea Morehart stands close by, smiling at her mother, her white prairie dress billowing on the afternoon breeze. The two women are part of a growing and essential environmental movement — a return to authenticity for natural materials in interior living spaces.

“They say an elephant never forgets. What they don’t tell you is, you never forget an elephant.”   — Bill Murray

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is an expanded version of "Reunited at Last; Ojai's Roller-Skating Elephant Tarra and Carol Buckley," first place winner of the 2021 California Journalism Awards print contest -- profile story.

To say that Tarra just walked into Carol Buckley’s life would be entirely accurate.

In 1974, Buckley, a student in Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training program, was doing homework at her tiny Simi Valley rental home when her dog started barking. She looked up and saw a little elephant being walked down the street.

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