Family Farming in New Zealand – a new film now on DVD

Family Farming in New Zealand is a 64 minute documentary created as part of New Zealand’s contribution to the UN 2014 International Year of Family Farming.

It uses excerpts from films made from the 1930s to the 2010s to cover the range of family farm types and the changes in farming over that period. It includes extremely rare footage of muttonbirding on the Titi Islands in the 1930s, families on very isolated farms (Mason Bay on Stewart Island and Mt Arrowsmith Station), and families from the New Zealand’s dairying heartland in the Waikato. It shows children learning to farm both formally and informally, and farm women in a range of roles. The only film on the subject ever made, it is an invaluable teaching resource.

The film was directed by Hugh Macdonald and researched, written and produced by Christine Dann. To watch a trailer, find out more and buy the film go to this website.

Christine is currently researching, writing and producing another film which has something of interest for agri-fooders studying wild food and foraging. No Ordinary Sheila follows the life of the extraordinary writer and illustrator Sheila Traill Natusch, who wrote (and illustrated) New Zealand’s first book on foraging (Wild Fare for Wilderness Foragers, 1979). She grew up on Stewart Island during the Great Depression, and become adept at finding and eating wild food from an early age – and even better after studying botany and zoology at Otago University in the 1940s, and spending a lot of time in wild places.

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