Welcome all, to the official Forage & Folklore Blog! Ashley and I have decided to create this online space in order to delve much more deeply into the topics related to our tours than social media outlets such as Instagram or Facebook allow for. Our goal for this blog is not to be overly educational (we prefer to save that for our tours!) but rather a place we can share wider ideas, tell the stories we have to share, explore diverse concepts, as well as provide facts, tales, tips and advice regarding foraging, rewilding, conservation, folklore, history and tradition, as well as share a bit more about ourselves and our personal journeys down these paths.
Some posts may dive into some potentially controversial topics, but our hope is that by exploring these openly, we can do so in a constructive and positive way. We do not aim to impose our thoughts or values on anyone, but rather simply encourage our readers to engage with the content and consider the relationship we all share with our natural environment, our history and our fellow human beings. After careful thought however, we have decided to disable commenting on his blog post for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we want this to be a positive space and do not want it to turn into Facebook free-for-all. Whilst I was interning in Africa, I presented a research project regarding the management of ungulates on neighbouring private reserve to fellow conservationists, international volunteers and the actual land managers of the property being discussed. The presentation explored a number of methods of wildlife management, including some that could be considered fairly controversial. But as we did so in an in-person, comfortable and open setting, I was able to have positive and thought-provoking conversations with the group I was presenting it to. Had I presented my materials in an online setting instead, I do not believe any of us would have benefitted nearly as much from our conversations, as online messaging never quite reaches the quality of discussion that can be had with in-depth verbal conversations.
Photos above are both my own, taken in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa during my internship with charitable conservation organisation African Impact
Secondly, Ashley and I do not want to encourage anyone to be on their phones or computers longer than they likely should to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and state of mind. We of course want you to come to our page, read our blog and engage in the topics, but we would rather you go away from here afterwards and discuss any of your thoughts and ideas with your friends and family, rather than stay on your phone. This is something Ashley and I do all the time with each other and we find it absolutely invaluable, and lately we have been especially focused on spending more time away from social media, preferring to engage with the internet more consciously when we can.
Discussing ideas and really exploring thoughts your own thoroughly, as well as the thoughts of others, can really only be achieved when you put your phone down and engage mindfully with a real person face to face. After putting the internet away, you could opt for heading outside for a walk through nature, or having a cup of coffee in your garden (perhaps whilst you discuss the latest Forage & Folklore Blog!) enjoying the benefits of fresh air. Something we would much rather encourage, and always prefer to do ourselves.
Lastly, if you do have something that you would especially like to share with us, we would rather you email us or message us directly. This way we can build more of a personalized relationship with you, and come to understand you and your thoughts more fully. We are very approachable, open minded folk and absolutely love to hear different perspectives and ideas. We would much rather connect to you on a one to one basis rather than just simply responding to “the comments below”, and we are very open to receive contributions to this blog if you have your own views, tips or thoughts to share about the subjects we discuss.
So having said all of that, we very much look forward to sharing our new blog with you all and sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this first entry and all future entries as much as we will enjoy gathering and sharing our thoughts on topics we feel passionately about. Please do feel free to message us anytime about any questions or queries you may have, and we will get back to you as soon as we can! We can't wait to share more with you all, and if you enjoy reading this blog, hopefully we will see you on tour someday very soon!
All the best,
Tom & Ashley