Food Forests

A quiet revolution is growing in communities across Aotearoa-New Zealand..
Seeding long-term, multi-generational solutions for our food.


Host Community Screening | Purchase

Edible Paradise Premiere 2018 Edible Paradise Premiere 2018 Edible Paradise Premiere 2018

See our Community Screening Calendar top left or browse by location from the Events Menu for Community Screenings.

LFP Edible Paradise DVD Cover 2017Captured over five years as part of the Localising Food Project, Edible Paradise travels to the four corners of Aotearoa - New Zealand, to meet local food campaigners instrumental in creating community orchard and food forest projects in their patch.

At the pinnacle of this movement is a diverse edible environment known as a Food Forest - a collection of perennial plants grown in a multilayered natural forest ecosystem that is beneficial to humans, animals, plants and insects. This idea moves away from the monoculture crops that have become the norm in our post WW2 agrochemical-based horticulture systems.

These practical and inspiring examples embrace health-giving heritage varieties such as the ‘Monty’s Surprise’ apple. In a global apple study, this particular apple was found to have the world’s highest level of natural Bioflavonoids and Procyanidins, which have been clinically proven to reduce the replication of cancer cells.

In recent years Food Forests have become popularised around the world from Seattle to Malawi and many places in between.
In New Zealand, a range of diverse communities have come together to participate at all levels of food production, harvest, appreciation and celebration to grow ‘Free Food for the People.’

Nowhere is the opportunity to come together to actively grow our future more evident than in Christchurch, a city struggling to rebuild after the devastating February 2011 Earthquake. This natural disaster destroyed almost 80 percent of the city’s buildings, and left hundreds of hectares of prime land unable to be rebuilt on.
After the houses where removed from the ‘red zones’ some people in the city had a vision to turn Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’, into the ‘Edible Garden City of the Future.’ This shift in thinking had its challenges and this film shares the journey of convincing the Christchurch City Council to turn over a new leaf by supporting the public planting of fruit and nut trees in hundreds of parks and reserves; turning often marginal land into a perennial paradise.

Edible Paradise captures the birth of the food forest movement in New Zealand that is about much more than sustainability. It is ‘he tangata’ - the people. Coming together to connect & share both this abundance and the intangible social benefits that are at the heart of community food development.

Director Biography
Rich Humphreys is a producer, cameraman and owner of Nexus Point Pictures - a factual TV, Film and digital story production company based in Fremantle, Western Australia. His passion is telling stories that grow community, evolve culture, enhance human connection and affect positive social change on the planet. He is a proud Kiwi; and as co-founder and Digital Producer for the Localising Food Project since it's inception in 2012 has collaborated with a great team to bring you the content on this page, our feature documentaries and our social channels.
Edible Paradise is his baby; a gift to inspire and grow the Food forest Revolution in Aotearoa, New Zealand and around the plant, seeding long-term, multigenerational solutions for our food.

LFP Kaiapoi on Location

Rich Humphreys | Director Statement

I first met Robina McCurdy, one of the main characters for this film at a transformational festival in 2012. She was hosting a permaculture workshop in one of the large marquees and spoke with amazing passion about an idea to travel around New Zealand to capture inspiring stories of local food resilience.
From this seed The Localising Food Project was born - a digital project with a variety of short and long form video stories available on Youtube and at

"Wendyl Nissan from Radio Live's 'Long Lunch' speaks to Rich Humphreys, director of Edible Paradise, about what drove him to devote five years of his life documenting Canterbury’s post-quake dream to green the redzone and the quest to save valuable heritage fruit and nut varieties from the bulldozers"

EDIBLE PARADISE is the third major documentary in the series and has been very much my baby for over 5-years of ups and downs. It was a long process for the vision of the Christchurch Food Resilience Network to play itself out and being able to have a solid enough through-line to complete the film. And in 2017 thanks to the support of hundreds of pledge-me contributors we finally had the money to edit the film.

Throughout filming this project I was captivated by the tension between the commercial and community model of food production. Learned the real value in our heritage fruit varieties and fell in love with the idea of being able to go down to a local park, pick an apple off the tree, bite into its juicy flesh and be nourished with what nature provides. It just seemed like the way it should be.

This film was made possible thanks to the support of people like you
If you want to be part of this growing movement _ leave a comment in the Facebook box below, buy some of our inspiring films or make a PayPal donation (Button on the left) to support our community social change campaign..

A big heartfelt THANK YOU! to all the people that helped make this doco so special:

  Read more about all the beatiful people involved with this documentary


Ensuring that everyone has enough to eat is an important motivation of the Localising Food Project. In this story, we see a great example of making fresh fruit and nuts available to people of all ages, stages and walks of life in Nelson’s Stoke Open Orchard. We also meet the lively and vivacious Edith Shaw who’s passion for the orchard and for sharing her knowledge is evident.

In this story, we meet Robert and Robyn Guyton and visit their abundant property in Riverton. They have spent many years developing a sparse piece of farmland into a lush, fruit-laden forest providing them and their family with a year-round supply of food. Robyn tells us about the history of their place, and Robert takes us on a tour of the forest, highlighting the types of fruits growing there. You might be surprised at the varieties they’ve been able to grow in chilly Southland! You can find more stories from Guyton’s forest garden on their Blog:

These inspiring West Auckland residents are working down at the Lucinda Place community orchard to put the "Eden back in Glen Eden." And they are not just interested in growing food, they're interested in growing community -- and it shows. Join Project Twin Streams' Genevieve Toop, Tony Phillips, Pam Gill and others as we taste the bounty at the Lucinda Place Community Orchard. The Lucinda Place Community Orchard came about after "Project Twin Streams" brought the land and demolished the two flood-prone houses that occupied the site. Read more about the project at this website: Connect up with the team at transition towns Glen Eden.

Waiheke resident and food forest proponent James Samuel takes us on a tour of two food forests on the island. One an established home food forest with a rich variety of food sources; the other a community orchard, just beginning its transition to a food forest. James shares his vision for an abundant future of food and inspires resilient communities to invest in trees to allow for a bounty of delicious, healthy food for the generations to come. He also runs a fantastic website with information and education for keen food foresters - you can view it at this link.

Social Comments and Sharing

Locate Us

The Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa
Tui, No 211 McShane Rd,
Wainui Bay, Takaka 7183
Registered Charitable Trust
Personal donations qualify for a 33% Tax Rebate
Charities Commission reg # is CC45548
Our IRD No is: 77-957-669

Join Our Newsletter

Stay in touch ! Signup for our newsletter
Please wait