Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 25, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10

1010 Mountain View News Saturday, June 25, 2022 1010 Mountain View News Saturday, June 25, 2022 

LIVING OFF THE LAND - Is It Possible In the City? 

[Books and Classes by Christopher Nyerges can be viewed at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.

Billy Nickel, 53, is a professional electrician who has also spent hundreds of 
hours in the last 15 years studying ethnobotany, and related survival skills. 
In the early spring of 2010, he was between jobs and living in the Hollywood area. He was also 
trying to lose weight at the time and improve his lifestyle, and he embarked on a seven-day 
experiment. “Could I live off the land using just the wild foods I find?” he asked himself. 

So, each day, he walked approximately one mile to Griffith Park to his north. Griffith Park is 
located not far from downtown Los Angeles, and is considered the largest urban park in the 
United States. 

He decided to do a seven day experiment, as a test of his self-reliance, and secondly, as a way 
to lose weight. “I had been doing a lot of hiking then,” he explained, “and so I walked from 
my house to Griffith Park about a mile away. I did that walk every day during the seven day 

He started his experiment on a Monday, and walked to the park with a large bag, and a large 
salad bowl. 

Billy Nickel learns how to grind acorns for making acorn pancakes. 

He carried the large bag for collecting the greens, and a large salad bowl, which measured about 
14 inches across and 8 inches deep. “I used the bag to collect the greens, and then I washed 
them in the park at the water spigot. I tore them up into little pieces, and used a cutting board 
and chopped up all the greens. Then I sat there in the park, and ate a big salad every day,” saysNickel. 

What exactly did he eat? “I found lambs quarters, which was the main plant I ate.” Lambs quarter 
(Chenopodium album), is a relative of spinach and quinoa. “I ate a lot of London rocket 
(Sisymbrium irio), and the flower heads of various mustards. I didn’t care for the black mustard 
leaves because they were a bit furry. I ate some pineappleweed flower heads too,” he explained. 
Pineapple weed is a close relative of chamomille which grows wild. 

During his seven-day experiment, he found some sow thistle greens (Sonchus sp.), some mallow 
(Malva neglecta), some curly dock greens (Rumex crispus), and what he calls “a hidden 
patch of nasturtium” whose leaves he picked and included in his salads. “I also know of a little 
stream in the park where there is a field of miner’s lettuce and chickweed, which I included in 
my salads.” 

Nickel nearly always processed the greens each day and ate it in the park. He seasoned the 
salad with olive oil and vinaigrette dressing that he carried along, but otherwise it was a 100% 
foraged salad. 

So each day, all that Nickel ate was this huge raw salad, with dressing and olive oil. 

He always felt full and he didn’t eat anything else in the early part of the day or later in the day. 
“I never really felt like eating beyond that,” explains Nickel, “but it actually took me at least half 
an hour to eat the salad! I had to chew everything really well!” 

Towards the end of the seven days, Nickel still enjoyed each salad and found it very satisfying, 
but “I could tell my body was craving protein. I started getting the urge to get a burger. But I 
never felt weak or a loss of energy from the all raw, all wild diet of salads. I just started to have 
the overwhelming desire to have a burger. I had only planned to do this for a week, and maybe 
that’s all I could handle because I was fixated on getting meat towards the end.” Nickel shared 
that he had not yet realized the value of seeds and grains in a diet of foraged food, which would 
have helped to provide a more balanced diet with more calories. 

“The thing I noted most,” explains Nickel, “was that it was quite an ordeal to eat! Each day’s 
walk to the park, foraging, cleaning, processing and eating, and then walking home took at least 
6 hours. Once it took nearly 8 hours. I was between jobs then so I had the time, but I hadn’t 
realized that the entire food quest was such a time-consuming ordeal.” 

Nickel foraged in a hilly area of the park, and people on the trails often saw him collecting his 
large bag of daily greens. “When people asked me what I was doing, I shared with them what I 
was doing,” says Nickel with a smile. “I knew I was getting lots of vitamins and minerals, though 
not that many calories.” 

Incidentally, Nickel performed this one-week experiment during a larger four month period 
where he was working to lose weight – he lost 70 pounds during the four-month period. He 
adds as a footnote that his gas had no smell during the time when he was exclusively eating 
wild foods. 

Catch breaking news 
Just the SWEETEST girls! 

What beautiful girls! You’ll love them! 
They’re only almost a year old and 
brown tabby and white. Both are very 
sweet and have a nice temperament. 
They look so much alike that their 
foster mom calls them twins. These 
sweet-hearts are very close and love to 
sleep and play together. Honey is the 

more outgoing one. She's very playful and ready to jump and 
have a great time, but she will come running when you call her. 
Holly is more cautious and lets her sister take the lead. She loves to be near her sister 
and stays by her side. Both love playing with toys. See more pictures of them on our 
website’s “Very Young” page. They are vetted and spayed. You won’t need to do a thing 
ex-cept give them love and a forever home. 
Submit the application found at 

Pet of the Week

 Six-year-old Peter is such a well-rounded dog! He’s calm,
relaxed, and friendly, but he’s also active and walks well ona leash. He loves getting attention and especially loves bellyrubs. Peter gets along well with people he’s just met and iscurious and sweet around other dogs. Peter would love tojoin your family!

 From now through June 30, the adoption fee for bigdogs (40 lbs and up) is $50 through our Big Dog Summeradoption promotion! All dog adoptions include spay orneuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-andwellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as agoody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoptionappointment at Adoptions are byappointment only, and new adoption appointments are 
available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters byphone calls or email. 

The Chef Knows By Peter Dills 

Must admit with all the past Father’s Day notes and trivial trivia,
I almost missed National Martini Day, and what type of foodie 
would I be, but fear not friends, I did partake in a Martini and 
lobster. I have to take my Andy Rooney Card out again and give 
you my fellow diners the rules of Etiquette 101. I love my daughter, 
and some of my friends kids. But here goes.

 I am asked frequently asked about etiquette and table manners, 
so I compiled this simple list based on the most common 

Your napkin goes in your lap, folded in half, as soon as you sit 

Many people wait until the food arrives, but the proper form 
is to be prepared. 

If you leave the table, place the napkin to the left of your plate,
loosely draped. 

A napkin is never for blowing your noise or wiping your mouth. Use it to dab at the corners 
of your mouth or your fingertips. If you need to cleanse further, leave the table and use the 
appropriate products in the restroom. 

In formal dining, a charger will be under the place setting. It remains there during the starter 
course and is removed at the main course. 

Your eating utensils go in the order of use, starting from the outside (furthest from the plate) 
and working their way in. Forks go on the left; knives and spoons on the right, as you face 
the plate. Dessert utensils are placed at the top of the plate, sideways. 

The bread and butter plate goes to the left, above the forks. 

The water glass goes above the knives (behind the wine goblet, if there is one). 

Food should be passed counter-clockwise. 

It is considered impolite to start eating before everyone is seated and served, including your 

Only the meal settings and food belong on the table. Do not place your elbows, eyeglasses, 
notebook, pen or other objects on the table. 

Cut no more than two bites of any item at a time. When it comes to bread, tear off one bite 
at a time and butter it, rather than buttering a whole roll. 

Do not season your food until you have tasted it. 
It is permissible to use a piece of bread to wipe up excess gravy, as long as you use your fork 
and not your fingers. 

If you need to leave the table, place your utensils on the edge of your plate so that the tips 
point to the plate’s center, in a V-shape. To signal when you are finished, lay your utensils 
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