Monthly Archives: August 2015

Foraging in the Sonoran Desert

Foraging in the Sonoran Desert


Saturday, October 17, 2015 8a – 4p
$75 per person

Location: near Tucson; to be announced upon registration
Exploring and observing our desert home for the great variety of tasty and nutritious wild plant foods it offers. Living in the Sonoran desert, particularly southeast Arizona, one must consider the mountains as well as the low desert. Together we will explore the local terrain in search of wild plant foods.
Join local herbalist & forager, John Slattery, on a wild foraging journey in our local desert and mountains. We will be exploring the great diversity of native wild foods which exist in our local habitat. Important out of season wild plant foods will be demonstrated with samples and field identification. Basic topics covered will include:
Proper Identification of Edible Species
Time of Year for Proper Harvest
Methods of Preparation
Location, Environment, and Habitat for each Plant

Numerous wild foods will be identified, and we will sample several locally available wild foods. Additionally, samples of a variety of “shrubs” made with wild prickly pear fruit juice and a homemade prickly pear vinegar will be shared as we discuss the possibilties of creating locally foraged, wild drinks.

Please bring proper walking shoes, needed protection from the sun, adequate water for a full day of sun exposure, plate/bowl, cup & utensil (for sampling) and a packed lunch. Our meeting place will be announced closer to the scheduled date of class. Limited to 12 participants. Contact John at with any questions regarding the class.

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist
Tucson, AZ
© 2015


Field Study: Borderlands – Pajarito Wilderness

Sonoran Herbalist Program
September 4-5, 2015   


Class Fee: $205

Field Study: Borderlands – Pajarito Wilderness

Discussion, Application, Gathering and Processing of Wild Herbal Medicines of the riparian canyons, desert grasslands, and oak savanna of the Pajarito Wilderness at the Arizona-Sonora border.

with John Slattery

This 2-day, 1-night camping excursion takes place in the remote and rugged desert and canyon terrain known as the Pajarito Mountains of southern Arizona. Situated west of Nogales, AZ and south of Tucson this land is home to a variety of rare, endemic plants as well as abundant bird, insect, reptile, and animal species (including the jaguar). Our explorations will take us through steep, desert canyons lined with a dense vegetation including manzanita, alligator juniper, sycamore, Emory oak, kidney wood, saya, ocotillo, mala mujer, canyon grape, cardinal flower, vervain, skullcap, willow, sage, bricklebush, wild oregano, and many, many more. Summer rains often bring tremendous moisture and verdancy to these canyons and grasslands creating a lush landscape not often seen in Arizona. With the guidance of experienced herbalist and forager, John Slattery, we will traverse this terrain in search of a great variety of medicinal plants. Each participant will learn to properly identify these plants as we discuss their virtues and explore their potential healing qualities. There will be opportunities for group herb gathering when abundance is encountered. 

Each participant is required to provide their own transportation, camping equipment, food, and water. A central, 2-burner propane camp stove will be provided for the group’s usage. A full list of suggested camping and class supplies will be provided upon registration.

Each participant should be aware of the environment which we are entering. It is a wild place with very little amenities provided (there’s access to an outhouse a long walk/short drive from camp). There will be no running water or other usual amenities available to us. Cell service is very limited and intermittent in the area. With the summer rains come a great variety of insects, including mosquitos and chiggers. Although not dangerous, they can make one uncomfortable. Further details on how to prepare oneself for this camping trip will be provided upon registration.

No prior experience is necessary, but an openness to learning is essential. General fitness to sustain a mild exertion in a hot, humid climate is required.

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist  © 2015

Tucson, AZ  

Field Study: La Sierra Blanca

Verbascum thapsus - MulleinThursday, August 20


Class Fee: $98

Field Study: La Sierra Blanca

Discussion, Application, Gathering and Processing of Wild Herbal Medicines of the high mountains, canyons, and rivers of the White Mountains of Arizona

with John Slattery

This full day of field study with herbalist and forager, John Slattery, is a unique opportunity to experience hands-on learning with the plants and a group of interested and committed students. John has been developing relationship with the plants of this area for the past 11 years. We will be viewing and discussing 12 to 15 different plants, in depth, throughout the day with opportunities to gather some plants for food or medicine. Some field medicine making instructions will be provided.

Each participant should bring a packed lunch, 2-4L of drinking water (including something to conveniently carry it on walks), comfortable footwear for walking, a daypack/bag, rain gear, suitable sun protection, notebook, pen, and camera (optional). Further supplies potentially needed (optional) will be discussed upon registration.   

Carpooling may be available upon arrival at our meet-up location in Alpine, AZ.



Price: $98.00