I'm Matt Kip.

I've been eating wild things for over thirty years.


I grew up in central South Carolina exploring the vast tract of forest across the road from my house. A tribe of boys and I dug kaolin clay from creek banks, followed deer tracks in the sand and played stalking games in the bracken fern. Those experiences planted in me a love for the wild around us, as well as for the wild I connected to within. I sensed there must be some way for a modern person to engage deeply with these forces.

When I was 16, a neighbor took me foraging one afternoon. It was as if someone pointed out a trap door, a secret exit from a world in which everything had to be exchanged for money. I had never experienced such a feeling of radical freedom. I realized I was surrounded by food and medicine, hidden in plain sight. In those days before the internet, I read every book I could find in the library about wild edibles and went on walks with Doug Elliott and Steven "Snowbear" Taylor, two respected regional foragers.

Come Forage with me!
I imagined a life of self-reliance, carving out a living in a remote wilderness somewhere. I never got there. Instead, as I grew into my  adult life, I walked an edge between a constant awareness of the wild, while participating in modern consumerist society. I raised my children to know the wild foods and medicines growing around them. Being able to pull up weeds in our garden and add them to dinner is a great skill to have, but beyond the dinner plate lies something much deeper. Foraging showed me something I can never forget. Nature is a give away. Though foragers use money like everyone else, there's a different map in our minds about the world. Everything we know of civilization could fall away, and there would still be something to eat and plants that heal. The world the forager inhabits is somehow a friendlier place. There's an unfathomable generosity in wild nature, as it is always driving toward abundance. Wild foods and medicines pop through even the sidewalk cracks of our cities, beckoning us to remember our birthrights as parts of a living ecosystem. Every time I fill a bag with wild nettles, or come home with a pile of oyster mushrooms, I experience a calm feeling of capability and belonging in the world. I want to share that feeling.
I began leading plant walks 17 years ago along the rivers in Columbia, SC. Since then I've had the opportunity to introduce thousands of people around SC and beyond to this way of seeing and connecting with the natural world. I'm excited you found Full Belly Foraging, and hope to see you in the woods soon! 


Come Forage with me!