Tag Archives: Sonoran Desert

Monthly Classes at Desert Tortoise Botanicals


London rocket (Sisymbrium irio)


Herb of theMonth Series

at Desert Tortoise Botanicals

November 22 (Sat. 3-5p):  Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)  

December 13 (Sat 3-5p):  Onion  (Allium spp.) 

January 10 (Sat 3-5p):  London Rocket  (Sisymbrium irio)

February 14 (Sat 3-5p):  Calendula  (Calendula


Calendula officinalis

Calendula officinalis

March 22 (Sun 2-4p): Chamomile  (Matricaria recutita)

May 2 (Sat 3:30-5:30): Canadian Fleabane (Conyza canadensis)

Class Fee – $10

Register now to reserve your space or pay at the door (Limited to 15 participants):


Price: $10.00

Location – Desert Tortoise Botanicals, 4802 E Montecito St. Tucson, AZ 85711

Join herbalist John Slattery on an exploration of the plants at the Desert Tortoise Botanicals garden. From naturalized plants to the intentionally planted he’ll be covering what’s in season. Traditions of use, edibility, medicine making, ecological significance, how to cultivate, clinical applications, and how to talk your neighbor into letting you harvest their weeds (so long as they’ve resisted using herbicides). Whenever applicable we’ll be tasting herbs, preparing as food and as medicine, sampling preparations, and discussing their historical and current significance. Each class will leave you inspired and excited to enjoy the plants of your area more thoroughly as you incorporate them into your life.

Herbal Traditions of Mexico – Voyage to Isla Tiburón

March 4-9, 2015
Led by Sonoran Herbalist John Slattery 
with the Molina Martinez family 
DSC_0599Welcome to the trip of a lifetime!

Isla Tiburón is the ancestral home of the Seri people (Comcáac). Two of our elder hosts were raised on the island in a hunter-gather lifestyle. Needless to say, they know this land well. They have relied upon this land and sea for their food, clothing, shelter, medicine, tools, stories, music, and everything which has made them who they are.

We have been granted a very unique opportunity to travel to this incredible island and to view it through the eyes of the Seri. They will be our guides, our hosts, our educators, and leaders. Their steady and kind presence allowing us to feel secure in this seemingly inhospitable world – until we begin to see it through their eyes!

Sonoran herbalist, educator, forager, clinician, and experienced liáson to this family of herbalists John Slattery will be your guide on this trip. John’s goal is to help facilitate the most meaningful experience for you on this trip while informing you in whatever way he can (logistics, botany, traditional knowledge, etc.). John will be translating the content of the discussions and lessons presented by our hosts in Spanish. Normally, there are also native Spanish speakers in the group who can assist.

Seri game

Each day of our trip will be filled with exploration, cultural immersion, plant knowledge, language, music, foods of the land, traditional healing, and so much more. This opportunity allows participants to immerse themselves in the world of the Seri and begin to see through their eyes the world in which they live.

The sea and the desert will be our classrooms with our naturalist hosts serving as facilitators and guides. The pace of learning and sharing will be dictated by our presence and willingness to listen. Our Seri hosts are extremely generous with all that they know and are more than ready to share.

Ten meals are included with vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free options available. Meals prepared by loving, caring women using traditional ingredients cooked over natural wood fire, or in some cases freshly harvested from the sea. 

photo credit - Ardea Maddock

photo credit – Ardea Maddock







Transportation is each participant’s responsibility. 

Full trip fee is $798 per person.

For further information:  mexicotrips@sonoranherbalist.com

Space is limited.

Price: $250.00

*Deposits are 100% refundable before February 1, 2015; 50% refundable February 1 – 13, 2015. Deposits non-refundable after February 13, 2015.

Prepping Your Herbal Medicine Chest

Cold & Flu Season and other infections

When: Saturday, November 8, 2014;  9:30a-4p

Where: Desert Tortoise Botanicals 4802 E Montecito St.  Tucson, AZ 85711

Who:  Anyone interested in enabling themselves to prepare for and address common infections with accessible home remedies

How Much: Class fee: $75 per person

*Fee includes materials for take-home herbal remedies


Be prepared to ward off illness and promote your vitality! Join Sonoran herbalist, John Slattery, in a day of medicine making in preparation for the winter cold & flu season.  You will learn to make and use a variety of preparations (teas, syrups, oxymels) ideally suited for the most common viral infections. In our discussions we will explore the nature of host resistance and how to enhance it from a Vitalist perspective, and take a closer look at our local herbal pharmacopeia. Each participant will gain hands-on experience with herbal medicine making. Additionally, each participant will take home three herbal preparations we create in class and the knowledge to make it for themselves in the future. All materials are included in the class fee. Please register in advance to reserve your space. Limit 12 participants. Email John@SonoranHerbalist.com with any questions regarding the class. 

To register:

visit http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/       (scroll down the page)

Foraging in the Sonoran Desert

When: Saturday, October 25, 2014; 8a – 3p

Where: near Tucson, AZ

Who: Anyone interested in learning to forage wild plants and eat from their surroundings

Cost: $50 per person


Learn to eat from what you find in the desert!  Join local herbalist & forager, John Slattery, on a wild foraging journey in our local mountains. We will be exploring the great diversity of native wild foods which exist in our local habitat. Numerous wild foods will be identified, and we will gather and prepare select, available wild foods. Additionally, 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

Please bring proper walking shoes, needed protection from the sun, adequate water for a full day of sun exposure, and a packed lunch. Our meeting place will be announced upon registration. Limited to 12 participants. Contact John at John@SonoranHerbalist.com with any questions regarding the class.

Visit http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/ to register (scroll down the page).