By June Taylor
HMASA has a diverse range of members of all ages and skills. The group has members involved in growing, promoting, marketing, product promotion, sales, writing and even teaching children to embrace the wonderful world of gardening and the necessity to care for our environment.
One member who has recognised the importance of teaching the younger generation about the pleasures of gardening is Rebecca Mumford, Treasurer of HMASA and SA representative on the HMAA Executive Committee. After her two daughters were born Rebecca left the hectic world of finance for a far more hectic schedule of working with children in the world of nature.
Rebecca loves this area of encouraging, nurturing and teaching young children to grow in a safe, happy environment while learning where their food comes from, how they can grow their own with enormous rewards and pleasure, as well as combining the fantasy and imagination of their childhood for a perfect balance to become responsible young adults in later life.
Rebecca saw there were large gaps in our education system and wanted to be involved in a career that gave back to the community as well as one that would provide a strong sense of meaning. As a young mum, Rebecca initially volunteered at the Newland Park Kindergarten and Burnside Primary School where she identified links in the Early Year’s Learning Framework and Australian Curriculum. Rebecca said that the teachers she has worked with over the years have been amazing and very supportive and this encouraged her to evolve a program for children to enable them to clearly understand the food chain and all it has to offer on its journey from garden to plate.
In 2010 the ‘Greenhill Living’ seed was planted and so began a very successful business that delivers on-site environmental education programs for children’s centres, kindergartens and primary schools across metropolitan Adelaide. Currently there are six Adelaide metropolitan schools, more than a dozen kindergartens and four community children’s centres where Rebecca works hands on with the young ones. She’s proud of the organisation she set up all of those years ago. Today it has grown considerably and is recognised widely as a beneficial and important part of young children’s development.
“I really enjoy running the interactive book reading sessions, which I follow up regularly by working closely with the children to keep their gardens growing through all the seasons of the year,” Rebecca explained. “This program encourages and inspires all of the young participants and even their families, to enjoy nature and growing. I believe it demonstrates the value of caring for our environment and, it provides the necessary skills, knowledge and tools for our next generation so that they may survive and thrive well in the future.”
It seems growing edibles has always been a big part of Rebecca’s entire family’s life and even today she gains inspiration from her twin sister Amanda, who promotes a plant-based diet.
“My aim is to inspire people to grow plants and Amanda inspires people to eat them,” Rebecca says.
Rebecca, husband Nick, who works in the energy sector, and their two daughters now 14 and 16, live on a 2000 square metre property in the Adelaide suburb of Greenhill with a huge area of vegie gardens. Rebecca says all the family enjoys working in the vegie garden, which keeps them well supplied with food. Oh and then there’s always Rebecca’s parent’s property at Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills region where, if necessary, extra gardens can be planted out to ensure that their food chain is always constant, abundant and adequate!
While passionate and enthusiastic people like Rebecca continue to educate future generations, we can hope our planet will be looked after for years to come!
Check out Rebecca Mumford’s website at www.greenhillliving.com.au that provides information for teachers, children and their parents. Also available is a beautiful range of books written by the very talented Rebecca Mumford.