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James Cameron Buys Walnut Farm In New Zealand, With Plans To Keep The Orchard Up And Running

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From Mother Nature Network's Michael d'Estries:

James Cameron is a celebrated filmmaker, ocean explorer, environmentalists, and as of last week - a commercial walnut farmer.

Stuff.co.nz is reporting that the 58-year-old has been given permission by New Zealand officials to purchase a working walnut farm named Pinnacle Grove near his current 2500-acre farm in Wairarapa on the North Island. In addition, he also purchased some 25-acres nearby. From the site:

“It said Cameron planned to continue to operate the orchard as a working walnut orchard, and that the vendors would also help him to establish walnut trees on Pouinui Station, which Cameron acquired last year.”

That Cameron would choose to pursue farming is not surprising considering his family history.

”I grew up working on my grandfather’s farm in Canada and my wife Suzy’s family own a farm in Oklahoma,” he said last year. ”We want to raise our kids with the values we had when we were growing up, close to the land and with a strong work ethic. We hope we will be accepted as good neighbours and good members of the community in South Wairarapa.”

According to the Pinnacle Grove website, the orchard is in harmony with Cameron's green values - using a sustainable approach that incorporates natural fertilisers and pest-repellents where possible.

"Pinnacle Grove produces some of New Zealands’s finest walnuts and supplies both shelled and whole walnuts to a selection of New Zealand’s top restaurants," the site reads. "Their high quality Meyric walnuts, sweet and nutty to taste, are nutritious and visually appealing to enhance any dish."

That Cameron would pursue some kind of plant-based farming operation is not surprising. Just last month, while being honored at the National Geographic Society's 125th anniversary gala, the "Avatar" director urged those in attendance to consider a more animal-friendly diet.

“I’ve had an epiphany recently,” Cameron said. “I want to challenge all of you as people of deep conscience, people who are environment stewards of the earth and oceans … By changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world."

In an interview with the NY Times last year, Cameron revealed that he was transitioning the dairy farm on his recently-purchased New Zealand farm to something more eco-friendly. "We’re looking for something more crop based,” he explained. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”

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