P.O.Box 87704, Tucson AZ 85754
Phone: 520.907.9471
Desert Plant Workshops

Click here to watch "Cuisine of the Desert: Foraging for Cholla Buds".

Some might call them primitive skills—we call them timeless technologies which every citizen of the desert should know! Throughout the seasons we schedule outdoor hands-on workshops to share knowledge of the desert shared with us by Native elders. We guide you in sustainable harvesting of desert foods and traditional medicines, then through culinary alchemy, into the joy and good health they provide.

Ethnobotanist Martha Burgess of Flor de Mayo Arts has designed living history and agro-pre-history vegetable gardens for Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace’s San Augustin Mission Garden. Look for upcoming classes sponsored by Flor de Mayo teaching about traditional Native foods, gardening, and harvesting, in support of Native Seeds/SEARCH, Tohono Chul Park, and other Tucson non-profits. Flor de Mayo events are sponsored by several different organizations. For details, please see below. You can read more about traditional and contemporary cholla harvesting in Martha’s article in Edible Baja Arizona, March-April 2014 issue, and in her post on cholla harvesting on her native-foods-sisters’ blog at:

Classes and events:

Saturday April 16, 2016
At the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society’s SonoraXI Conference, Hotel Tucson City Center Inn Suites, 475 N Granada Ave, Tucson 85701 There will be two demonstration classes on Edible and Useful Cacti and Succulents of the Sonoran Desert by ethnobotanist Martha Ames Burgess. For conference registration and information go to

For examples of Flor de Mayo Photographer Roderick Mondt’s cactus and succulent images, click on the Art column of this website menu.

Spring Ethnobotanical Events:

The cholla budding season is EARLY this year!!  In order for you to make the most of the harvest time we are scheduling classes earlier than in previous years to get a jump on training.

Saturday, March 26, 2016 8-10am
Fund-raiser event for NativeSeeds/SEARCH on Tucson’s west side – register via Flor de Mayo 520-907-9471
Saturday, April 2, 2016 8-11am
At Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace San Augustin Mission Garden – Registration via: http://www.tucsonsbirthplace.org/news-events/#cholla

Click here for flyer.

To purchase dried cholla buds, return to Native Foods on this website menu.