Christopher Nyerges (left) pictured with his brother Richard Nyerges (right)
Christopher Nyerges has been teaching wild food plant and survival/primitive skills classes in the Los Angeles area since 1974. Richard Nyerges is a long-term volunteer with the Angeles National Forest, who just happened upon our wild food outing in the Angeles National Forest on Saturday, February 10th. It was fun to see the two brothers together, and to see how they both respectively share a love of the great outdoors.
Christopher has been into using the abundant resources of the natural world around him since the age of 12. His initial attraction was to Native American skills, which eventually led to his deep connection with the plants. He’s a great teacher, allowing the natural curiosity of the group to guide his teachings. I asked him what the most common wild food plants, most likely already found in the urban Los Angeles yard:
2. roses; hips and petals (do not eat if treated with fertilizers)
3. lambsquarters; leaves and seeds
4. mallow; leaves and seeds
5. sow thistle; leaves, flowers, roots
He estimates that thousands of people in the LA area are already aware of gathering wild food plants, and do so on a somewhat sporadic but ongoing basis. He recommends learning with someone in person. The next best is a video, and finally a book. Don’t rush it, learn the plants one by one and never eat something when you are in doubt. Christopher offers regular classes in the Los Angeles area, Click here to see his schedule.
I asked him why he has chosen this path, “I don’t do it for money, I don’t necessarily do it for health. I do it because it just feels right to me.” Foraging is part of an ecological whole. To learn more of Chistopher’s vast knowledge of surviving in our natural world, and in the LA area in particular, Click here to visit his online store.