Monthly Archives: May 2016

2016 SHA Module, Session 16: All About Acorns

shelled southern live oak acorns November 19   9:30 – 5p

Location: Tucson, AZ

Instructor: John Slattery

Our final module of the year offers a full day of working with acorns. Two species of acorn will be our main focus: southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) and bellota (Quercus emoryi), the former we’ll be viewing with ripe acorns. We may also view another non-native, cork oak (Quercus suber) from Spain. The former is found in abundance as a locally landscaped oak, and the bellota is our prominent wild acorn, locally. These delicious and tremendous local food resources will be looked at in depth during this class, and we will also go through all stages of processing from dry acorn to fully leached flour. Some food prep will be involved and pre-made samples will be available.

Although processing acorns does take some time, there are ways to manage it rather well. I will be sharing from my experiences as we go through the process of preparing our local acorns for consumption.

southern live oak acornThe mighty oak is renowned throughout the world as a symbol of strength, courage, integrity, vitality, and protection. There is no other food which has sustained the human race to such an extent as the acorn. And today most are barely aware that it can be eaten. How can such an abundant food go unnoticed for so many generations? The time of reawakening to the vitality and nutrition present in the oak’s acorns is upon us, and with much culinary delight!

We are entering the age of the acorn renaissance! I hope you can join me.

Our meeting place will be in central Tucson to discuss and view fruiting oak trees. After a couple of hours in the field, we’ll head to the Desert Tortoise Botanicals office for processing the acorns.

Register:  

Price: $98.00

 

2016 SHA Module, Session 14: Field Study: Sonoran Coastal Thornscrub & Wild Food and Medicine of the Seri (Mexico)

Tiburon islandOctober 21-25, 2016

Estero Santa Rosa, Sonora, Mexico

Trip Fee: $450  (includes instruction, translation, and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 4 nights camping on the beach at the Sea of Cortéz in Sonora, Mexico

As the nights grow longer and the days cooler the varied habitat at the edge of the Sea of Cortéz in northern Sonora is very pleasant. Just north of the small fishing village of Bahia de Kino (and the retirement/vacation community, Kino Nuevo) is the beautiful natural area known as Estero Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa Estuary). We’ll make our camp at the edge of the beach amongst coastal thornscrub vegetation adjacent to mangrove estuarine environment. Directly to the west of our camp sits the tall peaks of Isla Tiburón (“Shark Island”), the largest island in Mexico and the cherished homeland of the Seri, or Comcáac, people. Before us is a small bay with calm waters, and behind us to the east is the rugged terrain of the Sierra Seri where the desert bighorn sheep still roam.

DSC_0109

We will be exploring the uniquely beautiful vegetation of this area during our 5 days of beach camping. Our studies will be within the context of a bioregional approach to herbalism including explorations into foraging for wild plant foods in the area. This being the homeland of the Seri, we will be discussing many of their traditional uses and applications of these plants. During at least 1 or 2 days of this trip we will be visited by a local family of herbalists who I’ve been working with for several years now. They have offered to share with us how they use these plants for healing. They also employ a variety of marine algae, crustaceans, and other creatures from the sea for medicine (as well as food, abundantly).

Although this is some of the driest desert (in terms of annual rainfall) in North America the moisture brought in from the sea this time of year can keep vegetation verdant and flowering despite long-term drought. Various cacti, desert shrubs, plants of the mangrove, salty beach plants, and annual flowering plants comprise our list of plants to study including, sahueso, pitaya, desert lavender, brittlebush, red mangrove, cosahui, uvaibena, ironwood, desert hibiscus, ocotillo, coastal sand verbena, elephant tree, torote, palo blanco, malva de los cerros, balloonvine, puncture vine, pitaya ágria, and so much more!

Maria Luisa with desert lavender

Each day will be comprised of walkabouts through the desert, in arroyos, along the coastline, and along the margins of the estuary. Here we will stop frequently to look at plants, identify them, discuss their virtues, and, on occasion, gather some for medicine making or, when available, as food. We will be visited at our camp by the local Seri herbalists (Molino Martinez family) and they’ll be taking us on walks as well.

Any supplies needed for medicine making, camping, or in general will be listed in the information sent once registration is complete.  All participants need a passport, or passport card. We will be bringing all our supplies for the 4 days with us to camp. The nearest town is about 30 minutes away.

Transportation: Transportation is each participant’s responsibility. Ridesharing can be organized upon registration. There are no permits required for where we are going (high tourism corridor), but Mexican law calls for purchasing auto insurance for Mexico. There are simple online services to purchase Mexico auto insurance; details will be given upon registration.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com

$65 Discount if you register by August 21, 2016  Use Coupon code: ESTERO

 

Price: $450.00