About the Foraging Family



We are a family of five in Columbia, SC. Homesteaders at heart, we have created a small permaculture oasis in our urban yard complete with chickens, fruit trees, perennial vegetables and free range children.   We are doing our best to set an example for our kids by doing our right work- the work our hearts call us to do.  We measure our wealth in delicious homegrown food,  time to spend with our children, family, friends and the love between us.

I am a photographer by trade and love the opportunity to share my images with the readers of our blog.  It is one of my greatest joys. I am also a reiki practitioner, screenprinter, writer and potter.

Matt has been foraging since he was a teenager. He loves to tell people that he wooed me with wild ginger. When a friend introduced him to permaculture in 2004, it was the system of design he’d been seeking- a way to begin the reconcile the needs of human beings with the well being of nature. Matt also works whenever he can as a mural artist and artisan. Matt currently manages a permaculture inspired garden that he designed at the University of South Carolina.


Our children are Sadie (13),Phoenix (9) and Morgan ((5). They read, sew, climb trees and scream when they don’t get their way.

to get in touch write us at



our whole family at Dog Mountain in Vermont.



  • June 1, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Tom Kip - Emily,

    Love your website… very nice. Keep it up!


    Tom & JannReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2015 - 1:47 pm

    Rhonda Tredway - Hi Matt & Emily,

    I just want to say that I think this is a wonderful thing that you’re doing. Most of all, I really appreciate you sharing your story with us, your fellow home schooling community as well as the world. I am one of the original members of REACH and I have been home schooling for 12 years. I took a break from 2009-2012 due to medical reasons, but I am back and I love it just as much as I did before.

    Most of all, I enjoy learning new and exciting ways to make educating my 6th and 11th grader more interesting for them.

    Again, Thank you for your enlightening words and pictures of our great outdoors and for your courage to share your story.

    Be Blessed & Have A Blessed Day!

    Rhonda TredwayReplyCancel

    • January 22, 2015 - 6:13 pm

      admin - thank you so much. it is always helpful to hear words of encouragement.ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2015 - 9:33 am

    Susan Toole - I am Mamasue. I have a great deal of permaculture and wilderness experience including foraging. During the summer, I have 1-2 weeks in which my boys go and stay with their dad. I like to find a learning/working environment on permaculture farms in which to trade work for room/board. I require very little, eat almost anything, have great cooking skills with most foods, and am extremely strong for my size. I can tolerate and am prepared for all types of weather and can do almost anything from animal husbandry to farming and foraging. Do you have a possible position?ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2015 - 5:54 pm

      admin - Thanks for writing, Mamasue. Sounds like you’re doing really interesting things and would be quite an asset to any community. We don’t have a farm as yet, just our small urban lot, but I’ll keep my ears open for people looking for someone with your level of skill. We may have opportunities from time to time, such as needing a cook/instructor for workshops. Will you stay in touch? I’ll keep you in mind. Take care and best of luck!ReplyCancel

  • August 30, 2015 - 6:42 am

    Sherry - I have just stumbled upon your site this morning. I live in Irmo and have 4 children(14,12,9,5) whom I am wanting to unschool. I have homeschooled them their whole lives, but I want more for my family. I use curriculum such as Apologia Science, Mystery of History and the like. I am perfectly comfortable and it really wouldn’t be a big challenge to begin to unschool the three younger children, but I don’t know what to do with my eldest son. Right now his jumping through the hoops of HS credits. He is interested in cycling, wants to write a novel (I do have a good friend who is in the midst of writing one herself), and getting his pilot’s license. Do I simply say the ball is in his court as to what to do next?ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2015 - 4:48 pm

    Jessie Hazard - Hi Matt,

    I’m a reporter with the Charleston City Paper, and I’m working a story on autumnal urban food foraging in downtown Charleston, SC. It’ll be accompanied by a foraging trail though downtown, or a foraging map of downtown, so that readers can look for things to cook that night or even enjoy at the source.

    I know you’re located up in Columbia, but I was wondering if you could drive down here one morning/day during the next week, or even the week after that, if need be. Are you familiar with Charleston?

    I’ll make it worth your while by including you (all) and your foraging business in the piece, and also using snippets about you and quotes from you to round out the story–that’s sure to drive Charlestonian business up your way. Plus, I’ll talk to my editor, but I’m pretty sure I can get her to also hire you as our photographer on this article, rather than use our regular professional photographer, and pay you exactly what we would have paid them. I’ll have to see about that on Monday, though.

    What do you think?
    Jessie Hazard

  • June 6, 2016 - 9:20 am

    Kathy Evans - Hi!
    I’m a teacher, sitting in a science class and they are visiting you on tomorrow. I will be in another meeting but will try to get to your part of the presentation. I’m excited because I hope that Matt (Kipper) is one of my former elementary school students! If so, I have been trying to find you and your mom just to say hi and that I remembered how kind the family was!ReplyCancel

  • October 17, 2017 - 2:33 am

    David - Hi! Do you still do wild edible plant walks? I moved here from SoCal last year where I knew some wild edible. But here…let’s just say I know next to nothing. LOL. I’d like to learn.ReplyCancel

    • March 4, 2019 - 1:27 pm

      admin - We still do walks. The best thing to do is sign up for our newsletter and get updates on spring walks.ReplyCancel

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