Christopher Nyerges’ Wild Food Outing


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:

1. acorns
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.

2 comments

  1. Chuck Mineo says:

    I am interested in your experience. A few years ago, I bagan teaching Survival for the US Air Force up in Spokane. I lwft there and kept loose threads of communication with my dear friends at the school. Many of us have long since retired from our active duty military service and taken employment in Alabama, teaching a short Survival course, now for the US Army. We are always in search of what we might consider a ‘top 5’ edible plants on a world scale, if there can be such wonderful creatures. I am soliciting from you your exeprience of the most likely to encounter ‘top 5’ wild edible plants on a world scale. My exploits are limited to Mainland China, Korea, Western Europe, Turkey, and Iraq. I have seen cattail, yarrow, dandelion, mint, & a variety of mushrooms in most places (we discourage the foraging of mushrooms by novice survivors, due to the risk of a high margin of error in proper/positive identification. I am excited as I look forward to your reply. Regards, Chuck Mineo in Pinckard, Alabama

  2. sunny says:

    Hi Chuck….that’s a big question, and one i’m interested in finding an answer to as well 🙂 I guess dandelions and lambsquarters and sow thistle…a lot of acorns out there….a lot of roses planted in peoples yards. Wow, it needs some thought. If I can, I’ll get back with a more thought-out answer, as this is off the cuff.

    cheers, ~sunny

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