3,000 Breadfruit trees go to St. Croix, US VI

Agricultural Fair, St. Croix, USVI, September 2018

As TTFF spreads our branches … er … wings … we’ve now sent 3,000 donated breadfruit trees to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  We owe a huge vote of thanks to Ken Banks and Nate Olive, for getting this to happen.  And thanks to an anonymous donor too.  They worked together and took care of all the permits, inspections, shipping, clearing, transportation and re-potting, all the details for a successful transfer.

Ken Banks, now the newest member of the board of Trees That Feed Foundation, led a number of events.  He participated in their agricultural fair, and distributed over 900 of these trees to individuals, in one day!  The rest are allocated to various farms on the island, as coordinated by Nate.

Some of the 3,000 tiny breadfruit saplings shipped to St. Croix

Then there was a “slow dinner” at which various breadfruit dishes were served.  Some of the new recipes included tortillas, chaya fritters, breadfruit dumplings in grouper broth … and last but not least … breadfruit vodka, by Chef Todd Manley.  There are a few photos, below.   The potential for breadfruit, fresh or transformed into some kind of delicacy, is bright in St. Croix.

Breadfruit tortilla with green mango and papaya slaw

The people that made it happen! L to R, W Louis Hilgeman, Ken Banks, Sommer Sibily, Forest Stewarship Coordinator, US VI, Nate Olive, and Chef Andy Thaldorf, proudly wearing his TTFF apron!

Before we forget, Ken also transported various components of the TTFF “Factory in a Box.”  The shredder and grinding mill will allow fresh breadfruit to be processed into a nutritious, gluten-free flour with a long shelf life.

 

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Solar Dryer Engineering Drawings Ready!

Hybrid solar dryer engineering drawing

Hybrid solar dryer engineering drawing

Thanks to Northwestern University’s Engineering School, Dr. Stacy Benjamin, and Allison O’Donnell, we now have detailed engineering drawings completed!  These are available to anyone who want to consider construction of their own solar dryer.  Remember, it’s suitable for dehydrating breadfruit or really any other fruit, to preserve them for later consumption.  The dryer can also rely on a small propane heater, for those cloudy days when solar heat along isn’t sufficient.

We have drawings plus extensive detailed spec sheets.  Click here for a preview.   Contact us for more information.

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Mary featured on WGN-TV

Steve Sanders, popular host of WGN TV’s Midday News, invited Mary to talk about Trees That Feed Foundation.  The idea is to spread the word about TTFF’s work, and also encourage support for all organizations doing this kind of work, namely planting fruit trees, creating jobs and benefiting the environment.

This segment aired live today, August 27, 2018.  In five minutes Mary hit all the high points that viewers might be interested in–planting trees, helping entrepreneurs, feeding schoolchildren, and more.  WGN has a large viewership so this feature will really help to get the word out.  Follow this link to hear the entire segment.  Thanks go to Steve and the highly efficient staff at WGN TV.

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Solar dryer is in operation!

Trees That Feed co-founder Mike McLaughlin is a Physics major (BSc, University of the West Indies). He designed this hybrid solar dryer, to dehydrate fresh fruit and preserve it with a long shelf life.  The first live prototype in Jamaica is now in operation at Sydney Pagon High School, in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.  This project was funded jointly by TTFF and Rotary Clubs in Canada.

In this design air flows in through three solar collectors painted black and covered in plastic.  The air warms over the hot collectors and flows into the cabinet. Shelves inside hold the fresh fruit, sliced or shredded for quicker dehydration. A solar fan on the roof pulls the moist air up and away.  A full load of fresh fruit can be dried in 4 to 6 hours!

Learn more:  click here to watch a 30 second video explaining more details.

Hybrid Solar Dryer, Schematic

This schematic sketch is being converted into high quality engineering drawings by Northwestern University’s Engineering School.  And remember we have a complete detailed descriptive paper on the design and testing.  Click here to learn more.

 

 

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Trees That Feed featured on NPR

Mary McLaughlin was interviewed recently by Jerome McDonnell on “World View” on his Global Activism segment on National Public Radio.   Mary talked about Trees That Feed activities and accomplishments.  She sounded like a pro!   Click here to go to WBEZ’s Worldview page, to listen to the full interview!

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Another one of our Heroes: Ken Banks

Ken is Manager of Marine Resources Programs for the Broward County Florida Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division.  He has vast knowledge about coral reefs, manatee conservation and marine ecosystems.  He’s also passionate about growing plants and trees.  His backyard in Southeast Florida is a horticultural collection!  And he’s been a charter boat captain, an engineer, and a marine geologist.  He is also a passionate volunteer for Trees That Feed Foundation and he brings his storehouse of knowledge to our benefit.  He’s energetic, helped us deliver breadfruit trees to the Bahamas and US Virgin Islands, and located key research for us.  For the last three years he’s hosted our booth at the Fairchild Gardens Mango Festival.   He’s quite the hero.

 

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One of Our Heroes: Dennis Holyn

 

Meet Dennis Holyn.  Dennis lives in the Chicago area, was educated in Canada, but is from Jamaica originally.  He’s had a successful career as a sales executive in the tourism industry, mortgage banking and healthcare.  He finds time from his busy schedule to volunteer for Trees That Feed Foundation.   He is not only full of ideas, but he is also a man of action.  We had a big trip to Jamaica in January and Dennis coordinated all the logistics, including pre-planning trips to breadfruit orchards, government offices and meeting arrangements.  He is married, has two children and cares for his elderly mother.  Thanks for all the hard work, Dennis!

 

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Trees That Feed is Branching Out!

Branching!  Get it? We’re excited to report that Trees That Feed Foundation now has excellent partners in Africa, folks we know and trust and can work with effectively and efficiently.  So we’re extending our reach.  Last week, working with our suppliers in Germany, we shipped 750 breadfruit trees by air to Nairobi, Kenya. They were successfully cleared through customs and quarantine, and are being held now in a shade house.  There they will strengthen and grow for a few weeks, and later be moved out to farms.  They are destined for suitable locations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and perhaps points beyond.


The photo shows young breadfruit seedlings that have been replanted into grow bags, where they will sit for a few weeks.

This photo shows local ladies in Kenya, delighted to be receiving tree saplings.

Joe Mataro and his team from Grace Project worked hard to get this accomplished, from import permits to replanting in the right size grow bags.  Thanks, Joe, for all the hard work involved!

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TTFF is pleased to release our 2017 Annual Report …

There’s a lot to read about!   Follow this link to learn more about our recent activities, including building the market chain for fruit.  We are helping to propagate and plant trees, care for them including pruning, reaping and selling the fruit, and producing retail post-harvest products!  You’ll also read about our coloring books, recipes, and financial results.

Thanks go out to so many of you who have provided the support that makes our work possible.

Thanks also go to Greg Eckel, who created this very professional document for us.

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Konparet, a tasty, healthy Haitian bun …

Konparets

Konparets fresh out of the oven

And it’s even better when made with breadfruit flour!  It’s most popular in Jeremie and now is spreading all over Haiti.  Jeremie is located near the end of Haiti’s southern peninsula.  It was an active port for ships trading goods around the Caribbean and North America.  In the days before refrigeration, ships needed foods that remained good to eat over long voyages.   Konparets are tasty when fresh and still tasty days, weeks and even months later.  They are inexpensive and form a staple part of the local diet.

Konparets fresh out of the oven on cooling racks

Heartline Bakery in Port au Prince

There are various different recipes for Konparets, with each bakery keeping its formula a secret.  But the main ingredients are well known, namely flour, ginger, vanilla, grated coconut, and locally producted butter or lard. No eggs!  Now, with a steady supply of breadfruit flour to be blended into the recipe, we have reports from Pierre-moise Louis that customers prefer this new taste!

Trees That Feed Foundation is working with Pierre-moise, Charlotin Frednaud, Ruth Portnoff and others, to popularize Konparet and to promote blending in breadfruit flour for special appeal.  Soon bakeries all around Haiti will be selling Konparets! TTFF predicts success for the product and better nutrition all around Haiti.

Read more, in an interesting article by Bette Gebrian Magloire, PhD …

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