Tag Archives: Herbalism

2016 SHA – Session 6 Field Study: Happy Valley (Segments Enrollment)

IMG_2679Three separate segments of Session 6 at Happy Valley, at the base of the Rincon Mountains just north of Benson, AZ are available to individual enrollment for a limited time!

For more details on the location and other trip details click HERE where you can also enroll in the entire Session at a discounted rate from the individual segments.

Listed below are the options for enrolling in individual segments of Session 6 at Happy Valley.

Note: Multiple days are available via the dropdown menu with additional costs for each extension shown as “plus” the specific dollar amount.

Segment #1 Thursday, May 12  6a-4p    (9.5)      

Price: $145.00

Segment #2 Friday, May 13  7a-4p     (8.5)       

Price: $125.00

Segment #3 Saturday, May 14  7a-4p     (8.5)       

Price: $125.00

Our explorations will lead us from lush riparian groves of forested canopy to desert chaparral hillsides and mid-elevation canyons below oak & juniper woodlands moving up into pine forests. So, a great diversity of flora awaits us on this trip!  Some moderate hiking on some days (up to 3 miles per day, tops) and very little hiking other days. Our caravan will stop at one location (en route to our campsite) on Thursday where we will spend half the day before arriving at camp.

The weather may be in the 90s or drop down into the 50s at our mid-elevation camp site. It’s best to prepare for everything in between dry heat and damp cold weather just to be sure. Bring whatever camping equipment you will require to be comfortable (e.g., a tent/tarp/vehicle to sleep in, sleeping mat, sleeping bag/blankets) and ample food and water to last the 4 days of our trip. Our Sunday session concludes at 2p.

If you register for the Friday segment, or later, you will receive detailed written instructions on where to meet up with our group. A phone call will also be arranged in order to communicate the directions clearly.







I hope you can join me for this adventure!

Any further questions, email sonoranherbalist@desertortoisebotanicals.com

2016 SHA Module, Session 9: Field Study – Pajarito Wilderness

Peña Blanca LakeAugust 18-20     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $240  (includes 2 and a half days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 2 nights camping in the border region of the Pajarito Wilderness where oak woodlands meet savannah, and the rare jaguar prowls over intricately laced canyons. Unique, endemic vegetation surrounds us with plants reaching their northernmost location touching those which extend down from the north. A rare and beautiful opportunity to delve into the tremendous flora inhabiting this rarely visited territory.

The monsoons should be well underway and the hillsides moist and green covered in tall grasses and unusual forbs. Here we will discover the very edible saya and its prickly neighbor mala mujer. Kidneywood, manzanita, beebush, lobelia, wild oregano, Sonoran giant hyssop, skullcap, cudweed, altamisa, soapberry, verbena, estafiate and many others will be found throughout our field of study. Numerous plants will be covered in depth. We will practice deep relationship with several plants, and plant energetics will be woven throughout this field session. Clinical applications underlay all aspects of our study and discussion. Healing with plants is a broad subject; many aspects of herbal medicine will be touched upon throughout.

Our camp site is primitive and dry. We will need to pack in all of our water. Depending on availability (and our group size), our camp sites may or may not have tables or outhouses adjacent (however, some sites do and outhouses are within 1 mile of any camp site). Otherwise, there are no facilities where we will be for the entire trip. Swimming is available in the nearby lake and there are swimming holes to visit on one of our canyon hikes. It is a wonderfully stunning place to be in.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com


Price: $105.00

*When choosing “Single” or “2 Days” you will be able to specify which day/s in subsequent email correspondence

2016 SHA Module, Session 8: Field Study: Sierra Blanca – Early Summer

Sierra BlancaJuly 20-24     *4 nights camping

Trip Fee: $590  (includes 5 full days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

*Featuring an in-depth segment on Phytochemistry (8hr)

This module features 4 nights camping in the high elevations of the Sierra Blanca of Arizona. An area of diverse habitats and where the sources of our major riverways descend from high mountain springs. The perfect backdrop for the budding bioregional herbalist to learn the principle of contextual awareness through experiential learning.

As the summer rains begin to moisten the Earth once again the vegetation of the mountains explodes filling all valleys and covering mountainsides. During this first session in the Sierra Blanca we will be exploring all available seasonal herbs while addressing and discussing some wild plant foods as well. The seasons of wild oregano, yerba del lobo, skullcap, wild mint, and St. John’s wort will be at their height. The fresh tips of spruce, Douglas fir, and white fir will be covering the higher mountains. Several of our root and seed harvests of the autumn will now be easily recognizable for their foliage and flowers. The study of the forest for its medicine will be our intent, gathering up experiences to inform our paths of healing and sharing with those we encounter. These 5 full days serves as an immersion in the healing plants of the Sierra Blanca, the White Mountains of Arizona, of the Apache, and those who have lived here throughout time.

Additionally, this module features an in-depth exploration of phytochemistry. All major classes of plant constituents will be covered, and we will discuss, in-depth, the phytochemical makeup of several plants we visit on this trip. Handouts will be given to accompany the lecture.

Camping is primitive, and we will have 2 different campsites to reduce driving time overall. We will have access to water for washing although drinking water will have to be hauled in (unless purified on site). We will, however, make passes through the town of Alpine where good drinking water is available, as well as gasoline, restaurants, basic groceries, and motels/cabins for those looking to stay before or after the workshop.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$90 Discount if you register by May 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: SIERRA8


Price: $590.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 3: Medicine-making I

DSC_0044March 25-26   9a-4p, both days

Class Fee: $170

Instructor: John Slattery

Location: Tucson, AZ

How would you like to learn to make your own herbal remedies? AND, at a fraction of the cost of purchasing these remedies!

This 2-day class will cover a variety of basic herbal medicine making techniques, including oil infusions, salves, creams, tinctures, percolations. Such preparations make the foundation for a wide array of commonly used remedies and formulations with both internal and topical applications. Participants will learn these techniques, hands-on, while being encouraged to explore the world of herbalism safely, and with great creativity. Herbal medicine making is an art above all, but the science of it will be discussed at length. Additionally, detailed handouts for all the preparations we make in class (including recipes) will be delivered. 

Bring your curiosity for creativity with healing plants, to take away endless ideas for creating with widely available and locally available plants.


Price: $170.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given within 3 weeks of the class (even if within 7 days of purchase.

There is no credit given for missed classes.

2016 SHA Module, Session 2: Field Study – Catalina State Park

IMG_0660March 17-20     *3 nights camping

Regular Trip Fee: $476

20% Discount through midnight (MST) Saturday, March 12: $380.80

 Use Coupon code: CATALINA1

 Instructor: John Slattery

Module 2 of the 2016 Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship (SHA) Program is available for enrollment. Our first overnight field study of the year is in glorious Catalina State Park at the foot of Mt Lemmon at over 9,100 feet elevation. Here, Sonoran Upland Division desert is marked by palo verde and saguaro cactus amidst bouldered hillsides and small mesas where ancient indigenous settlements overlooked desert riparian drainages coming down from the high elevation. Oak and juniper descend the canyon, while desert lavender and limberbush inhabit the hot rocky hillsides above.

Arriving at the height of spring floral abundance, our 3 nights and 4 days will be spent exploring various parts of this vast state park and adjacent forest service land. Several dozen plants will be viewed, discussed, and tasted as medicine. Several basic medicine making techniques will be demonstrated and explored in detail (including hot and cold infusions, decoctions, poultices, steam inhalations, and fomentations).

34 Training Hours


Price: $476.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given if cancelled within 30 days of the class start (even if within 7 days of purchase).

There is no credit given for missed classes.

Cerro de Aconchi

Sonoran River Valley Ethnobotany

October 27-29     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $350

*Use Promotion Code DAMIANA to register for $300 by Winter Solstice December 22, 2015

Instructor: John Slattery

This field study trip follows our Sonoran Coastal Thornscrub & Wild Food and Medicine of the Seri (Mexico) up through the picturesque Sonoran River valley. The Río Sonora is believed to have once been inhabited by the Ópata people. Here, their mestizo descendants continue the traditions of farming and gathering wild plant foods such as bellotas, chiltepines, and agave, or mescál, for the distillation of bacanora. The beauty and tranquility of the Sonoran river valley touches the heart of many who pass through it. 

Our home for these 2 nights will be an encampment at the aguas termales, or hot springs, beneath El Cerro de Aconchi, a Sky Island ringed by organ pipe cactus, tree ocotillo, and riparian mesquite forests. We will have access to numerous bathing tubs, outhouses, tables, and the nearest town, Aconchi, is a 20 minute drive.  

Our days will be spent hiking and exploring the valley and talking with local people about their relationship with wild plants, whenever possible. We will visit and discuss the medicine of damiana, tree ocotillo, elephant tree, organ pipe cactus, pochote, cacahuiste, chicura, and many other curious plants of the Sonoran river valley. There will be a guided tincture making class in the field or at our campsite. And for a very special treat we will clamor up into the hills in search of the ripened wild chiltepines (Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum). Following, we’ll have a go at creating a variety of traditional chiltepín preparations with what we’ve gathered – pickled unripe fruits, chiltepín-quince salsa, chiltepín-garlic salsa, and more!

DSC_0788For those not present on the Sonoran Coastal Thornscrub field study (10/19-23), we will be meeting on highway 15 just north of Hermosillo before caravanning as a complete group up highway 14 along the Río Sonora. Complete directions will be given upon registration.

Trip Participation Requirements:

  • Complete Registration
  • Valid Passport
  • Reliable transportation -or- Rideshare within our group
  • Basic Camping Equipment

More specific trip details will be sent upon registration.


Price: $350.00

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