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Off the Eaten Path: Full Belly Foraging takes a wild approach to food tourism

Matt Kip has created a unique way to experience local flavors, while also sharing his knowledge of wild edibles and a more sustainable future.

 

As you stroll amidst the foliage, with a subtle crunch beneath your feet, you're surrounded by a gentle rustle of leaves and the earthy aroma of the forest. This isn't just a walk in the woods to enjoy the scenery; it's a walk into a natural pantry, a buffet of edible gifts woven into the landscape.

Yet, what you're experiencing reaches beyond this tranquil scene. You're part of a global movement, a resurgence of interest in permaculture and wild edibles. Wild edibles, a diverse array of plants naturally growing in the wild, offer not just unique flavors but a nutritional richness, enriching a well-rounded diet. Permaculture, derived from "permanent agriculture," mirrors nature's patterns, creating sustainable ecosystems that cultivate food, materials, and resources in harmony with the environment. Your steps through this landscape are steps into a community that embraces locally-sourced, regenerative practices, promising a healthier future for both you and the planet.


Matt Kip is the founder of Full Belly Foraging. For more than 15 years he has been offering guided experiences that unveil the wealth of free, nutritious, and delicious foods still thriving under our feet, even in our modern world.


"Foraging showed me something I can never forget. Nature is a give away.” - Matt Kip


Matt Kip, Founder of Full Belly Foraging

For over 30 years, Matt has been immersed in the world of wild edibles, a passion that traces back to his teenage years in central South Carolina. Reflecting on his journey, Matt acknowledges that his fascination with wild edibles isn't just rooted in the joy of foraging as a child, but also in the vivid memories of exploring nature – from digging kaolin clay to following deer tracks in the sand. However, a major milestone in his dedication to understanding our balance with the natural world stems from witnessing the bulldozing of once-wild spaces, replaced by the encroachment of housing developments. This stark contrast served as a profound realization for Matt, highlighting the clash between the untamed beauty of the natural world and consumer culture.


An experience stemming from real world challenges


As the world grapples with issues of food security, environmental sustainability, and the impact of industrial agriculture, the resurgence of wild edibles and the embrace of permaculture is part of a shift towards a more harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world. Individuals and communities are increasingly recognizing the importance of understanding and appreciating the abundance of resources available in the wild and adopting practices that promote ecological resilience and long-term well-being.


Beyond his role as a foraging guide, Matt Kip is a dedicated permaculture practitioner who, when not wrangling his three creative children, delves into the principles of sustainable living. On his guided walks, Matt seeks to impart a gift to participants—an understanding of how each individual can make sustainable choices and find greater balance with their natural surroundings. He wants to also share that embracing sustainable living isn’t necessarily easy, but it is possible:


"I have bills like everyone else. Though I choose to participate in modern society and deal with money every day, it's freeing to continually be reminded of the unfathomable abundance and generosity of wild nature all around us."

Come to pick unique flavors, leave rooted in community.


Understanding and incorporating wild edibles into our lives goes beyond culinary curiosity; it's a holistic approach to well-being. Wild edibles often boast nutritional profiles that rival or even surpass their cultivated counterparts. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these plants contribute to a diverse and nutrient-dense diet. Incorporating wild edibles can enhance our immune systems, support digestive health, and provide a broader spectrum of essential nutrients. And of course, following expert guidance and knowing you own health are important considerations.



Fully Belly Foraging focuses on hands-on experiences with wild edibles.

Moreover, the health benefits extend beyond each of us as individuals. Engaging with wild edibles aligns with a broader social movement towards embracing sustainable and regenerative practices. As more individuals recognize the connection between their food choices and the health of the planet, a collective consciousness is emerging. This movement is about more than what's on your plate; it's about embracing sustainable practices that promote biodiversity and a healthier environment.


Embarking on a foraging journey with an expert like Matt is more than an excursion into nature; it's a potentially life-enhancing experience. Matt's knowledge and guidance welcome you to an unexpected and exciting natural world that may benefit not only your own well-being but also empower you to contribute to a healthier planet.


As you walk through the landscape, identifying and appreciating the abundance of wild edibles, you're not just on a guided tour—you're joining a collective effort to reshape our relationship with food and nature. It's a small, yet significant, step towards a more sustainable and harmonious future for all of us as individuals, and our collective global family.


Full Belly Foraging is part of the Painted Circle community of purpose-driven travel providers. You can learn more about them here.

 

Our Impactful Experience Series is an exploration of purposeful activities that go beyond the ordinary, connecting travelers to a global movement of sustainability and forward-thinking initiatives. We believe in the power of lifelong learning and access to new experiences as essential elements for building a better world. By spotlighting unique and sometimes unconventional encounters, our series aims to empower individuals on a continuous journey of discovery, one impactful experience at a time.



 

Painted Circle is committed to supporting travel that is good for travelers, good for businesses, and good for our communities. We are firmly against exploitive and extractive practices, and believe that purpose before profits is the foundation for a vibrant and sustainable travel industry. Travelers, as well as travel businesses and nonprofits, can join our community for free.







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