Tag Archives: Sonoran Desert

Saguaro Harvest Gathering 2016

Lower Sonoran Desert – Riparian Area

near Kearny, AZ

Friday, June 24 – Monday, June 27, 2016

Begins 5:30p on Friday; Ends 12p on Monday

Workshop fee – $480

Come join us for the most amazing foraging experience the Sonoran desert has to offer!

Sagauaro Fruit HarvestGathering saguaro fruit from high atop these majestic grandfather and grandmother columnar cacti is one of the most joyous acts known to bird or animal (yes, we are animals, too). Despite the extreme dryness and heat this luscious, juicy and incredibly sweet and delectable treasure appears atop these giants of the desert.

The Saguaro Harvest Gathering puts us in the midst of a mature saguaro cactus forest at the time of prime fruit ripening. Our accommodations are at a beautiful fully restored historic ranch along the Gila river complete with a large pool for cool dips in the afternoon heat.

We will prepare traditional saguaro syrup (bahiduj sitol), and create unique preparations including fermentations, ice cream, saguaro seed bread, and so much more! These fruits are truly one of the most divine tastes in existence, the ‘gold of the Sonoran desert.’ Once we’ve gathered the fruit with a traditional Tohono O’Odham kuiput, we will then explore this majestic food through some unique culinary creativity.

Have you ever tasted one? If not, you should consider joining me for this Saguaro Harvest Gathering at the heart of saguaro harvest season in the Sonoran desert. We’ll beat the heat by starting before sunrise, then take advantage of the beautiful accommodations to bath (in the pool or adjacent river) and nap in the afternoon. This is not just for adults – I started my daughter saguaro harvesting just after she turned 1 year old. DSC_0011

Included in the workshop fee are the 3 nights stay at this gorgeous ranch house, 4 meals created in-house by our staff, and all instruction and guidance through the entire process of saguaro harvesting and preparation by herbalist and wild food forager, John Slattery. Each participant will also go home with freshly dried saguaro fruit, and perhaps a bit of syrup.

Friday will serve as an introduction to the place, the saguaros, and the tools of the harvest. Saturday through Monday we will begin our day before sunrise (@4:45a). Before our walkabout through the saguaro forest we will give thanks for what we seek to gather from the available bounty. By late morning we’ll bring our harvest back to the ranch house for processing and cooking. There will be a 2-3 hour siesta in the heat of the afternoon, and we will continue the processing of the saguaro fruit in the late afternoon. Monday we’ll wrap up after lunch around noon.

 

Full Workshop Fee

 

Deposit

A deposit holds your place in this workshop. Full Payment is due by June 10, 2016.

No refunds are available after June 1, 2016.

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist

Tucson, AZ

© 2016

2016 SHA Module, Session 11: Field Study – Chiricahuas

ChiricahuasSeptember 6-11    *5 nights camping

Trip Fee: $575  (includes 6 days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 5 nights camping in the wild and rugged Chiricahua mountain range of the Desert Archipelago. Here Sierra Madre Occidental meets the Rocky Mountains – each at their extreme edges.

Our days will be spent in contemplation with the plants, exploring, discussing what we find, gathering plants for food and medicine (maybe some mushrooms, too), processing and preparing medicine in the field, and exercising our full faculties to gain knowledge from the place which we inhabit. This is the longest module of the 2016 SHA Program, allowing participants to sink deeply into place and plants creating strong relationship bonds. These bonds deeply inform the medicine we know and receive from plants. This is the hidden gem within Bioregional Herbalism. It must be experienced to begin to understand its power and relevance.

No other Sky Island in the US is quite like the Chiricahuas. Whether for unique geology, convergence of ecotones, diversity of plants, animals, and insects, or unique cultural heritage and energetic resonance. Here we will encounter such important medicines as lobelia, Sonoran grape root (relative of Oregon grape), red root (3 species), self-heal, poke, vervain (3 species) and chaparral; and such unique or unheralded plants such as bidens, silk tassel, Wright’s eryngo, lead plant, indigobush, mariola, wild oregano, pony’s foot, Arizona cypress, beebush, and many, many more.

Camping will be in primitive camp sites with outhouses and picnic tables. Good drinking water is available at one spring, and drinking water can be filtered from a nearby stream. Transportation is each participants’ responsibility, but carpooling may be arranged upon registration; 4wd or high clearance is not necessary, but may be helpful. All camping equipment is each participant’s responsibility, but limited number of items (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats) are available for a $4 rental fee per item. Each participant will be responsible for their own meals on the trip.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com

Registration for this Session is now closed

 

2016 SHA Module, Session 6: Field Study: Happy Valley

spud rockMay 12-15   *3 nights camping

Trip Fee: $450  (includes 3 nights camping, 4 days instruction, and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 3 nights camping at the foot of the Rincon Mountains in the San Pedro watershed. Here the Chihuahuan desert meets the Sonoran desert meets Chaparral plant communities, meets Sierra Madrean Occidental, meets Rocky Mountain flora – all within several miles walking distance. The Sky Islands boast the greatest diversity of mammals in North America, and the plant diversity is equally impressive.

As we near the end of spring and the beginning of the dry summer season, the mid-elevation canyons present some of the most abundant and lush vegetation available to us in southeast Arizona. We will visit a variety of canyons and riparian watersheds from our oak woodland campsite. Some of the plants we can hope to see include: yerba mansa, cottonwood, Emory oak, Mexican blue oak, turpentine bush, agave, sotol, silk tassel, manzanita, penstemon, bricklebush, elder, black walnut, ash, wild grape, wolfberry, Sonoran giant hyssop, Texas betony, yerba santa, watercress, and more.

This session will reinforce previous lessons of Plant Energetics, Field Botany, and Habitat Observation as the full-time students continue to practice their skills in these areas. Drop-in enrollment participants will be included in all exercises and lessons throughout this module.

Camping is primitive with no restroom facilities or running water (with the exception of nearby seasonal creeks). We will need to bring in all of our water and food. However, there is plenty of wood for camp fires.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$75 Discount if you register by March 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: HAPPY

Register here:  

Price: $450.00

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

Register:  

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.

Herbal Traditions of Mexico: Herbal Medicine of the Seri

Herbal Traditions of Mexico

Herbal Medicine of the Seri

DSC_0599Coastal Thornscrub region at the Sea of Cortéz

Punta Chueca, Sonora, Mexico

October 21-24, 2015

Workshop fee – $395

The Sea of Cortéz and Tiburón Island is our back drop for this 3 days of immersion in the healing plants of the Sonoran desert. Our Seri hosts will share with us their knowledge of healing with the local wild plants passed down over generations. The utilization of plants as medicine takes on many forms and presentations amongst the indigenous peoples all over the world. The Seri, or Comcáac, share similar beliefs in that their relationship to the land in which they live holds a great variety of powerful medicines suitable for any and all ills which befall the people. They are excited to share their knowledge with all who come.

This trip will include walks through the desert identifying and discussing the medicinal plants we encounter. Daily classes at our camp will include discussion of their favorite medicinal plants with samples to view and taste, and medicine making presentations on a variety of possible subjects (medicinal soap, salves, teas, eye drops, etc.). Sonoran herbalist, John Slattery, has been working with the Molino Martinez family since 2010 leading excursions in his Herbal Traditions of Mexico Program, and providing support to help them continue their way of life. John provides all translation from Spanish to English and helps put it all into context for the trip participants.    

The trip includes 10 meals provided by our endearing hosts, and 3 nights camping as guests of our hosts in a picturesque estuary overlooking the Sierra Comcáac on Isla Tiburón. Transportation is each participants responsibility. Translation provided by John Slattery, the head tour guide and trip facilitator. And, yes, it is perfectly safe to travel in Mexico – particularly this area.

To Register:

 

Price: $200.00

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist

Tucson, AZ

© 2015

www.SonoranHerbalist.com

Foraging in the Sonoran Desert

Foraging in the Sonoran Desert

CANCELLED

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 John@SonoranHerbalist.com 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   
(Friday-Saturday)

7a-4p

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  

Raw Emory Oak Acorns

Creating Delicious Meals with Foraged Plants from the Sonoran Desert with herbalist & forager, John Slattery

Food Conspiracy Co-op
Thursday, June 11
6-8p

Although we no longer grind our mesquite beans in metates worn into the Earth, or pit bake our cholla buds, mescal, or harvested mariposa lilies, we can still find unique, intriguing, delicious, and nutritious ways to incorporate foraged plant foods into our day-to-day meals. From vinegars, ferments, and syrups, to pancakes, nut breads, and atoles, John will share with you some of his experience and insights into preparing our local wild plant foods. In this hands-on class, you will learn to prepare acorn meal, saguaro seeds, and other foods of the Sonoran desert to create delicious, gourmet meals at home. Allow your imagination to wander over the local desert and mountain terrain in search of gustatory delights!

Register here:
http://www.foodconspiracy.coop/event/creating-delicious-meals-with-foraged-plants-from-the-sonoran-desert-with-herbalist-forager-john-slattery/

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist
Tucson, AZ
© 2015

An Introduction to Edible Plants of the Sonoran Desert with herbalist & forager, John Slattery

Food Conspiracy Co-op
Thursday, May  21
6-8p

The Sonoran desert holds a vast array of edible plants. There are nearly 400 edible plants found in the low desert alone. When we add the high elevations of the sky islands the diversity of wild food plants is staggering. Join John for a discussion (with slideshow), and sampling, of our great variety of wild edible plants. The nutrition, and unique tastes are two simple reasons to take to foraging for your food. The experience of relating with the wyld Earth to gather one’s food is a revolutionary act in itself.

Register for the class here:
http://www.foodconspiracy.coop/event/an-introduction-to-edible-plants-of-the-sonoran-desert-with-herbalist-forager-john-slattery/

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist
Tucson, AZ
© 2015

Saguaro Harvest Gathering

Lower Sonoran Desert – Riparian Area

near Kearny, AZ

Friday, June 26 – Monday, June 29, 2015

25 hour workshop & retreat

Workshop fee – $365

Gathering saguaro fruit from high atop these stately grandfather and grandmother columnar cacti is one of the most joyous acts known to bird or animal (yes, we are animals, too). Despite the extreme dryness and heat this luscious, juicy and incredibly sweet and delectable treasure appears atop these giants of the desert. We will prepare syrup (bahiduj sitol), and create unique preparations including fermentations, ice cream, saguaro seed bread, and so much more! These fruits are truly one of the most divine tastes in existence, the ‘gold of the Sonoran desert.’

Have you ever tasted one? If not, you should consider joining me for this Harvest Gathering and Retreat at the heart of saguaro harvest season amidst an abundant cactus forest on private land near the small town of Kearny, AZ along the Gila River. Situated atop a small hill overlooking the Gila River this restored 1930s ranch house offers modern amenities and a swimming pool to refresh oneself in the afternoon heat.

Included in the workshop fee are the 3 nights stay at this gorgeous ranch house, 4 meals created in-house by a talented local chef, and all instruction and guidance through the entire process of saguaro harvesting by herbalist and wild food forager, John Slattery. Each participant will go home with freshly dried saguaro fruit, and perhaps a bit of syrup.

 

Price: $365.00

John Slattery, Sonoran Herbalist

Tucson, AZ

© 2015