• The Boulders (map)
  • Kelvin Florence Rd
  • Florence, AZ, 85132
  • United States

I'll be teaching a series of classes and workshops at...

Winter Count Gathering

held near Kearny, AZ this year Feb. 12-16, 2018

long-time Winter Count Instructor, David Holladay 

long-time Winter Count Instructor, David Holladay 

Once you register for the week you can sign up for one of my following classes:

Desert Foraging Walkabout - 2/13  9a-5p 

Processing Acorns for Food - 2/14  9a-12:30p

Working with Medicinal Teas - 2/14  1:30-4:30p

Ogham: Language of the Trees - 2/15  9a-12p


Desert Foraging Walkabout  (2/13/18)

"What plant foods can I eat in the desert?" is a common question asked. We'll spend the day exploring the abundant possibilities available to us in the variety of habitats within the vicinity. Locally, we have Sonoran desert uplands (saguaro & palo verde), riparian (cottonwood & willow), and desert riparian (mesquite, canyon hackberry, desert scrub oak). Combined these present a vast array of greens, seeds, berries, nuts, cactus fruits, roots, and stems available for eating on the spot or with further processing. We'll visit each of these habitats exploring what's in season and what one might find throughout the year within this habitat as we encounter new plants. Our goal will be to gather a variety of plant foods to either consume on our walk, or bring back to camp for processing/cooking at the end of the day.

This hike will be lengthy given the distance to the river. Expect to walk 12-15 miles. We'll keep a good pace at times, moving at a jog when we need to cover some distance, but we'll also stop to explore details and spend some time with individual plants. We'll combine a good bit of vigorous movement with quiet contemplative exploration. Expect about 4 hours of hiking/jogging mixed with a similar amount of time of rest and meandering.

This is for those with no foraging experience at all, no foraging experience in the Sonoran desert, and there will even be new information for those who have experience foraging in the Sonoran desert. The adventure of the day will have something to teach each of us. 

After breakfast/morning announcements we'll gather at John's tent and leave camp by foot.


Processing Acorns for Food  (2/14/18)

Although acorns have been consumed for thousands of years, most people in the Western world have forgotten they are even edible. Acorns once served as the foundation for numerous cultures' nutrition, and for good reason - they are exceptionally abundant over much of the northern hemisphere, and they are balanced in their nutritional profile. 

John will lead a hands-on workshop of taking sun-dried, unshelled southern live oak acorns (foraged from urban parks in Tucson) and turning them into ready to use flour within the span of the 3 hour workshop. We'll finish the workshop with a sampling of acorn bread we bake in a pit oven.  Acorn is a very versatile food which lends itself to numerous culinary creations, and its processing can be entirely low-tech.


Working with Medicinal Teas  (2/14/18)

 John's been working with medicinal herbs and blending teas for 20 years for thousands of people to enjoy and experience the healing benefits. In this class we'll explore a variety of simple herbal teas, and herbal blends. Herbs can be blended for particular ailments, for individuals, or derived from a particular place or habitat, for example. 

We'll look at different ways to prepare herbs as tea, why you may want to prepare certain herbs, or classes of herbs, one way or another, and we'll review and discuss how these herbal teas affect us once we drink them. This leads us to an introduction and discussion of plant energetics and the utility of organoleptics (the use of one's senses). In this class we'll focus on a variety of local plants from the Sonoran desert bioregion.

Learn how to improve your health and restore balance to your body and mind through the use of herbs as tea. 

*Feel free to bring some herbs to share with the group if you like.

Ogham: Language of the Trees  (2/15/18)

Ogham (pronounced OHM) was a secret language of the Druids of ancient Ireland. Although many versions exist we will focus on the Tree set.

The language of Nature is embedded in all of creation. It is said that the sound of each tree ogham is a reflection of the sound it makes when the wind blows through the tree.

Everyone will carve their own set of oghams using wood pieces provided by John or you can bring your own. We'll discuss each of the 20 tree oghams, how they're grouped, their meanings, and how to utilize the tree oghams for divination. 


Visit https://wintercountcamp.com/ticket-info for ticket info


Hope to see you there!