Educator puts food in focus

CHARLOTTE SQUIRE
Last updated 12:58 14/05/2014
Warwick King
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
FUTURE GROWTH: Environmental educator Robina McCurdy is fundraising to produce the first of five documentaries about growing local food resilience.

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A Golden Bay environmental educator has been touring New Zealand with a team of volunteers, capturing 200 short films about local food resilience, including schools and kindergartens from the top of the south.

Permaculture expert Robina McCurdy now wants to distil the footage down into the first of five educational documentaries, with a little help from the online crowd funding platform Pledge Me.

McCurdy, who is volunteering as part of the Localising Food Project team, aims to raise $7000 to produce the first documentary Growing Schools.

It would explore the benefits of gardening and "nature immersion" for children's health and wellbeing, as well as achievement and learning, said McCurdy.

"It aims to expand the school garden culture in New Zealand and support children to establish a lifelong connection with their food," she said.

The documentary features initiatives focused on growing, processing and preserving food.

She said it would be a valuable tool to help schools use gardens as learning environments.

The other four documentaries will focus upon diet-related health, food insecurity, food sovereignty and the environmental impacts of globalised food systems.

They would show how people could build communities through localising food and "reconnecting with the real world, their neighbours and themselves", said McCurdy.

The top of the South Island's Victory, Auckland Point and Motupipi primary schools, and Hira, Stoke, Greenwood and Golden Bay kindergartens all feature in the footage that will be used for the documentaries.

McCurdy was the previous Victory Community Garden co-ordinator.

She has also travelled the world educating communities about permaculture and local food systems, and is the founder of the the Earthcare Education Trust - an environmental education organisation.

The PledgeMe campaign was launched in April at the national permaculture hui. So far $1745 has been pledged. Organisers hope to reach $7000 by June 7. If they fail to reach that amount they will lose the money pledged for the documentary production.

The Growing Schools campaign is on Pledge Me.co.nz

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- The Nelson Mail

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