The Man Who Planted Trees

Watch this brief video.  It’s a captivating 30 minute story about a man who planted trees, as the title says.  The narrator describes the beneficial impact over a period of years.  This video had a deep impact on our founder, Mary McLaughlin.  She was overwhelmed after watching it for the first time, over 10 years ago.  She resolved to follow in his footsteps.  TTFF was founded in 2008, to follow the example of one person who changed the world.   Now, we’re well over 80,000 trees planted.  Fruit trees.  Mostly breadfruit. Fortunately we can move a bit faster than he did a century ago.

 

 

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Haitian Farmers Complete Successful Agronomy Training in Jamaica

Air layering

Air layering

Trees That Feed Foundation received a generous grant from Conservation, Food & Health Foundation, to fund a training trip for Haitian farmers and agronomists to travel to Jamaica, to learn techniques in fruit tree propagation, planting and care.  The trip took place between November 1 and 11, 2015.

Training topics covered included root culture, stem culture, grafting, air layering, orchard layout, pruning, and processing of fruit into

 

Haitian farmers at Hope Gardens nursery for training

Haitian farmers at Hope Gardens nursery for training

 

salable post-harvest products.  Based on participant feedback the training trip was very successful.

Training was led by Dr Seymour Webster, lecturer at CASE, with strong support from Mr Alfred McLean, Joseph Johnson, Zavier Gray, Keith Thomas, Locksley Waites and Cynthia and Trevor Willis.

TTFF believes that this kind of assistance, “teach a man to fish,” is superior to typical 

Orchard Layout

Orchard Layout

efforts of providing excess unwanted food and other products from developed countries.  Each participant in the training is expected to return to their organization and pass on the knowledge they’ve gained.

 

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Trees That Feed Heroes: Mr. Guy Paraison

Guy2Guy Paraison is a natural partner for Trees That Feed Foundation. A champion for the people and the environment, Guy was one of the first to receive TTFF trees in Haiti. He has worked for Plant With Purpose Haiti for 17 years and is currently their Country Director. Plant With Purpose is a development organization that works to transform lives in rural areas where poverty and environmental degradation intersect. They equip farming families to improve their circumstances with tools, training in sustainable techniques, and trees.

Guy studied at ENST and has degrees in administration, management, and accounting. He speaks four languages: Creole, French, English, and Spanish. Born and raised in Haiti, he currently lives in a suburb of Port-Au-Prince with his wife Mika and son Guy Mike.

In the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation, Guy Paraison and Trees That Feed Foundation are working together to reforest and make agriculture viable again. So far we have delivered and planted close to 1,000 trees together and are looking forward to accomplishing much more throughout the coming year!

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Trees That Feed Heroes: Judy Osgood

JudyJudy Osgood is a critical member of the Trees That Feed Foundation team and serves as a true hero of ours! She teamed up with TTFF once she retired from teaching about three years ago. Judy volunteers in the office each week to help respond to requests for trees, equipment and breadfruit flour. She also issues certificates for these items, processes donations, drafts website content and helps develop curriculum for educational initiatives.

We interviewed Judy about her time with TTFF. See below to learn more about Judy’s generous contributions to advancing the Foundation’s mission:

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Trees That Feed Foundation? I love knowing we are making a difference. Every time I go into the office, I know things are better in the world by the time I leave at the end of the day. Mary and Mike are amazing – I’m grateful to be along for the ride.

How does Trees That Feed Foundation differ from other initiatives? Sustainability and investment. TTFF isn’t just putting a Band-Aid on a problem. We are committed to solving problems in a sustainable way by providing the resources, training and support needed for ownership of the solution. Mary and Mike have forged strong partnerships with communities and people in Jamaica and Haiti, and they visit the trees to monitor their growth and care. Donations to TTFF go directly to the work and not to administrative costs. The mission is clear – TTFF is highly effective!

Where do you see Trees That Feed Foundation going in the future? I see TTFF continuing to plant more and more trees and strengthen relationships with communities. I see lots of growth in flour production, equipment needs, and entrepreneurship. I think we will do more with education – both in schools in the communities we serve and in schools here.

Thanks for all that you do, Judy!

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Board Spotlight

Nyree PresentationTrees That Feed is excited to be hosting its second board meeting of the year this week! Board members will convene in Chicagoland to discuss 2015 progress, programming and future planning.

Have you met our board? We are proud of our board members. With varying backgrounds and areas of expertise, members are committed to ensuring the success of Trees That Feed Foundation’s mission and providing sustainable food sources to communities and families. Learn about our board members here.

A recent board highlight of TTFF’s is our participation in the 2015 International Breadfruit Conference. Here is Dr. Nyree Zerega, Director of the Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University and Trees That Feed Foundation board member, presenting about breadfruit genetic diversity.

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2015 International Breadfruit Conference

Bfruit conferenceMike and Mary hit the road this week for the 2015 International Breadfruit Conference in Trinidad! The conference is hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI) and PCS Nitrogen.

UWI believes that breadfruit has the potential to improve food and nutrition security and is hosting this conference to convene various breadfruit actors, researchers and entrepreneurs to address increasing opportunities for breadfruit commercialization.

The Daily Express ran a recent article about breadfruit and UWI’s work with the fruit. The benefits of breadfruit are highlighted as “gluten-free, has high energy from carbohydrates, is a source of protein and dietary fiber, and has a high potassium content.” Breadfruit is described to have “a lower glycemic index than widely-consumed imported cereals. This nutritional content makes it attractive in the fight against diseases like diabetes and hypertension.” To read the full article, click here.

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Trees at Tacius Golding High School

GroupphotoTSchoolThe Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund provided an introduction between Trees That Feed Foundation, Karlene Johnson and Tacius Golding High School, after which TTFF provided breadfruit trees and equipment. Read a report below from representatives of the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund about their recent visit to Tacius Golding and the progress of donated TTFF breadfruit trees and equipment!

“Tacius Golding High School sits on 17 acres of land with a stream in rural St Catherine. They have Mr. McCalla, who teaches agriculture and wields a mean machete. Mr. McCalla took us out to inspect breadfruit trees that were donated from TTFF. About sixteen breadfruit trees have been planted so far, with the rest on hold due to drought. Mr. McCalla has been careful to leave some undergrowth to protect the small trees, as shade will help them survive the dry season.

Karlene Johnson is on sabbatical from Tacius Golding. She is completing a degree in literature at the UWI. Karlene is one of the literature prize winners being mentored by the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund. Karlene’s dream is to make Tacius Golding self-sufficient. The Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund introduced Karlene to TTFF, and TTFF donated breadfruit trees and equipment to manufacture breadfruit flour to the school.
TaKJBreadfruitTreeJamaicacius Golding will use the flour to feed hungry students and also sell the flour to fund educational projects, with children will learning business skills during the process. 

Here are some pictures of our first visit to Tacius Golding to meet the staff and students and observe the progress they have made since planting. We will be posting new updates as they progress on their journey.”

 

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School to School Support!

OakridgeTrees That Feed Foundation recently received a generous donation from the fourth grade class at The Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas. We were so excited to learn about their awareness and fundraising efforts!Oakridge’s donation will provide breadfruit porridge meals to an entire school in Jamaica. These schools will be connected so that students can be in touch with each other during the school year.

Below is a letter we received from one of the students’ teachers:

“To Whom It May Concern:

On behalf of The Oakridge School I would like to present a check for a donation to your foundation. Our fourth graders did a unit on ecosystems, the environment, and helping others in need. Three classes of fourth graders then held a garage sale to raise money for the organization. They brought toys and games from home and sold them to the first, second and third graders. They had a terrific time.”

Great job, Oakridge students! Thank you for your hard work. 

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Collaboration in the Caribbean: New program this fall!

Yvonette's garden with breadfruit  tree inHaitiTrees That Feed Foundation recently received a grant from The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation to facilitate a new fruit tree propagation program in the Caribbean, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

Sustainability is a priority of Trees That Feed’s. Amongst multiple elements of our mission, we work to help individuals learn how to propagate their own fruit trees to ultimately achieve food independence. This new program will be doing exactly that.

Through the program, a group of Haitian farmers will travel with TTFF to Jamaica in Fall 2015 to learn fruit tree propagation techniques from The College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) experts, Jamaican agriculturalists and nurserymen. Following the trip, TTFF will work with Haitian trip participants and partners to implement the training techniques learned during the visit to Jamaica. This program will build internal capabilities in Haiti to locally source food-bearing trees, thereby increasing food supply, market input, jobs and environmental restoration.

Join us with this new initiative! If you would like to contribute to this program,please donate here.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Dryer Design: Part 3

3rd dryer 2 We have our next installment of solar dryer updates below!

Mike continues to be hard at work and the rooftop module for the hybrid solar dryer is now finished. The sides are marine plywood and the top is sheet metal painted black. (Cutting out the holes for ventilation was the most difficult part!) On top is a solar fan and a turbine vent for sunny and/or windy days.

These pictures show front and back views of the roof module mounted on the upper cabinet. The solar exhaust fan is white and faces south; the turbine vent is a bronze color on the other side. These two units will ultimately mount atop the lower cabinet.3rd dryer 3

The next step is stainless steel mesh shelf and runners, and then we will just need a few nice hot days for testing purposes!

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