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Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Great Basin Desert: Reno Area

May 25 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Great Basin Desert:
Reno/Tahoe Area

Stretching from the Eastern Sierra escarpment of California and reaching all the way to the west slope of Utah’s Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin is the largest desert biome found entirely within the borders of the United States. Generally referred to as a “cold” desert, it receives its meager annual allotment of precipitation (averaging around 9 inches) mostly as snow. To the untrained eye this gray, expansive “sagebrush ocean” often appears bleak and lifeless…but upon closer more skillful examination nothing could be further from the truth! The spring bloom period, after the snow melt but before the searing heat of summer sets in, happens to be the IDEAL time to explore this majestic landscape of shrub dominated valleys, riparian canyons, piñon/juniper foothills, and high desert mountains. Join us as we discover together many of the amazing native/naturalized edible & medicinal plants that can be found growing throughout this uniquely diverse bioregion. Topics to be covered during class include: field botany/plant I.D, plant family characteristics, ethical-legal harvesting/processing/preparation methods, edible/medicinal/utilitarian uses, regional ethnobotany, botanical safety issues (plus tips on how to avoid poisonous look-alike species), natural history, sampling of a variety of wild edible & medicinal plant preparations, and more! Our study will emphasize a dynamic sensory awareness of the plants via close observation, touching, tasting, and smelling. This class should prove to be insightful and rewarding for anyone interested in knowing more about the flora of this often underappreciated part of the American West.


Date/Time: Saturday, May 25. 9am-3pm.

Location: Approximately 20 miles south of Reno, NV.

Fee: $50

Detailed directions and other more specific class info (including carpool networking) will be emailed out to the registered/paid students by May 15. IMPORTANT NOTE: this message will be sent to the email associated with your PayPal transaction (and for some people this may not be their primary email).

No refunds will be issued after April 26.

Instructor: Tellur Fenner of the Blue Wind School of Botanical Studies.

Make sure to bring: Water, lunch, notebook, hat/sunscreen, rain gear, and a camera.

Class will occur RAIN OR SHINE! 🙂

Registration link:


Contact Info:

All official Blue Wind business communication is conducted via email. Facebook messages and/or phone calls will not be returned. If you have a question about an upcoming class please send a detailed email to the following address:


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bluewindschool/

Scope out our photo/video feed on Instagram:

Interested but don’t have a car? Inquire about carpooling options.

Frequently asked questions:

-So I paid the class fee via PayPal…am I now officially registered and on the roster? Yes, your spot in class is now secure. PayPal will not accept payments when a class is already sold out.

-How long/demanding will the hike be? Typically no more than 2-4 VERY moderate miles…with LOTS of stops to ID/discuss plants.

-Can I bring my dog? Sorry, absolutely NO pets (for a litany of reasons).

-Is it OK to bring my child? My 6-hour adult-level field classes are in no way suitable for children. Trust me: they would be bored to tears.

-I see that hundreds/thousands of people have clicked on “interested and/or going” for this event…what are your class size limits? Don’t take Facebook numbers too seriously folks…I cap these types of field classes at around 30 students 🙂 That said, it IS true that my classes tend to fill to capacity months ahead of time…so procrastination is not recommended if you are hoping to secure a spot.

-I noticed you’re teaching more than one class in the area, will these classes all be the same? Never. I ALWAYS strategically select contrasting floristic zones for each of my regional field classes and focus on different plants during each session. Therefore the true plant enthusiasts should consider registering for both (as I only teach in the area once or twice each year).

-Will there be bathroom accommodations? Some trailheads have bathrooms…others don’t…and due to the possibility of unforeseen maintenance/repairs I can’t guarantee any will be available. Therefore I recommend taking care of bathroom business en route to class. I’ll keep the participants posted with current info in the lead up to the class.

-Will the class be canceled in the event of bad weather? Typically, no. And as is mentioned in the description: “Class will occur RAIN OR SHINE!”. Only EXTREME weather with torrential rain, wind, and possible flooding OR severe heat (100F+) will likely lead to a cancelation. I’ll keep the participants well informed with current weather conditions in the lead up to the class.

-When should I expect to receive directions, carpool info, and other more specific class details? As is CLEARLY stated in the above class description: “Detailed directions and other more specific class info (including carpool networking) will be emailed out to the registered/paid students by May 15. IMPORTANT NOTE: this message will be sent to the email associated with your PayPal transaction (and for some people this may not be their primary email).”


May 25
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category: