Our Very Latest Annual Report

Hot off the press, here is our very latest annual report!  We actually had a pretty good year, despite the difficulties with COVID.

For 2020 our theme was Collaboration. We have stories about the groups that have supported us, and the groups that we have supported.  You’ll read about the million tree program with CariPhil, Barbados and their Trailways projects, tree planting in St. Croix, and more from Kenya and Zambia. We give details of our year’s activities, along with statistics and financial results.  And we thank you for your interest and generous support.

Through collaboration, we think you’ll agree, we accomplished a lot in 2020!

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Breadfruit Trees to The Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

In 2019 Hurricane Dorian smashed through the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Devastation was horrific. Thousands of large trees were toppled, not to mention houses damaged and lives lost.

The Ministry of Agriculture in The Bahamas asked for help importing and replanting trees. We have a terrific source in Tissue Grown Corp. They are a sophisticated greenhouse operation that can mass produce young plants–including the notoriously difficult-to-propagate breadfruit! We placed an order for 500 Ma’afala breadfruit, a Samoan variety. The fruit is nutritious and absolutely delicious. Even better, the trees are shorter and less susceptible to hurricane damage.

Unfortunately, our shipment was hit by the big freeze that chilled the midwest and cut off electricity to millions. Our precious trees got stuck in a warehouse in Dallas, Texas, for 10 days! Needless to say, those babies did not survive.

Karin Bolczyk from Tissue Grown Corp. offered to courier the next shipment all the way!  And good news, she now had 1,000 plants available.  After a very long travel day she arrived in Nassau with all 12 boxes in good condition!

Staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, led by Quinta Forbes, carefully repotted the young trees and are distributing them to farmers and others in Nassau and Freeport.

We at TTFF dream along with Bahamians of a reforested future. The trees will bind the soil, provide shade, and yield a bounty of nutritious and economically valuable fruit.

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Breadfruit is going big! (We told you so!)

Congratulations to Patagonia Provisions, who today launched their line of breadfruit crackers!  This promises to be a great product, already available online. In fact TTFF has already placed an online order (maybe we’re the first?)!

Watch their video about breadfruit (called Ulu in the Pacific), learn more about agroforests, and maybe order some crackers.

As most of you know TTFF has planted over 100,000 breadfruit trees … with some support, actually, from Patagonia Provisions, to whom we are grateful.  We are delighted to see this superfood gaining popularity.

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TTFF Sharing Breadfruit with the World

Here’s a nice, flattering article about Trees That Feed co-founders Mike and Mary McLaughlin.  This was published by Jamaica’s leading newspaper, The Gleaner, only this morning.  Thanks go to Lynda Edwards and George Graham, who authored the article. Click Here.

This photo shows the co-founders with a healthy young breadfruit tree, about one year old.

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Could breadfruit be the next superfood?

As we’ve been saying for years … yes!  Researchers in Canada have put the details together in an interesting article recently published by the University of British Columbia.

We at Trees That Feed Foundation have been promoting breadfruit for its nutrition, taste, caloric value and digestibility.  It’s nice to see the research supporting our work.

Read the full article here. 

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Working through COVID to serve the Bahamas

Ken Banks, Phd, PE, has been a TTFF hero and volunteer since 2015.   He initially discovered Trees That Feed Foundation online, and because of his familiarity with breadfruit, was interested in helping.  Living in Florida, Ken has become instrumental in transporting trees to the Caribbean.

Happy farmer with breadfruit saplings, courtesy of TTFF

Most recently Ken coordinated the shipping of 500 breadfruit trees to hurricane devastated Abaco, Northern Bahamas.  The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands spread over 500 miles. Last September Hurricane Dorian left the northern islands with no power, water, telecommunications, or sewage service.  Roads, homes, hospitals, stores, hotels, airports, and power grids were damaged and destroyed.  Aftereffects of the disaster are still devastating, and TTFF is sending breadfruit trees to help rebuild.

After the hurricane, Ken found a family farm in Abaco, Abaco Neem, that was eager to help TTFF.  They connected him to Josefina Adderley-Curry (OIC, Ministry of Agriculture) to head the Bahama team. Josefina will coordinate with schools, homeowners and farmers to plant the breadfruit trees.

Already now in August, the tiny trees are ready to be planted in the field

500 tree saplings 7-8 inches tall, packed 72 in a box, were sent overnight from Tissue Grown Corporation in California to the shipping agent, Abaco Freight, in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Kimber Mazzeo of Abaco Freight took the trees home in their sealed boxes to keep them in air conditioning overnight until they could be flown 180 miles to the island of Abaco.  The Bahama team there had to quickly get the delicate saplings out of the boxes and repot them in soil.  Plants were watered and put into a shade house (which volunteers had to build!) for protection as they acclimated to their new environment.

500 breadfruit saplings repotted and hardening in shade house

During the acclimation, the Abaco islands were hit by tropical storm Isaias, but Josefina took great measures to distribute trees to local farmers before the storm struck.  This was an extraordinary logistical and volunteer challenge!

Ideally the goal is to have a grower in each country to propagate the plants, avoiding problems with transportation and permitting costs.  But today transportation is an issue, and COVID19 presents even greater challenges.

Ruth Saunders, Brendan Saunders, Eva Adderley, Lorenz Carter, Ti & Brenda Gedeon, Victoria Forbes, Vashti Farrington, Lance Pinder, Daphne de Gregory-Miaoulis, Lyndeisha W. Curry, Glenn & Tracey Kelly, Gaylene Reitsma, Evince Joseph

TTFF is grateful to all the members of this partnership team for their dedication to the shared goal of food security.  We are working hard to help communities help themselves and without strong partners like Ken and Josefina and her team, challenging projects like this would not see success.  Thank you all!

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A Jamaican Success Story … Oliver Wills

Breadfruit is becoming famous. This story is about one gentleman who is making it happen!

Oliver Wills

Currently the main markets for fresh breadfruit in North America are ethnic grocery stores in Florida, New York, Chicago and Toronto.  Usually the fruit are not at peak quality and customers are often disappointed.  We see a future in which high quality breadfruit products will be available in mainstream supermarkets in North America.

Ready-to-eat roasted breadfruit is available in modest quantities.  Attractively packaged, the fruit is peeled, roasted and either frozen or vacuum sealed.  The quality and convenience will be hard to beat. Demand is there from the busy and upwardly mobile consumer, willing to pay just a bit more for the convenience and predictable quality.

Attractively packaged frozen baked breadfruit

Oliver Wills is the owner of Livy’s Foods. His factory is located just outside of Kingston, Jamaica, in the Yallahs area.  They export large quantities of roasted, vacuum sealed, frozen breadfruit.  When defrosted and reheated, it tastes as good as freshly cooked breadfruit.  We’ve sampled it and it’s good!  Members of the diaspora from the Caribbean or Pacific Islands  who love this childhood favorite will be 100 percent sure that they are back home in their grandma’s kitchen, eating breadfruit that just came out of the fire.

Livy’s exports exclusively to the Northeast United States.  The shipment typically sells out within a few weeks of delivery to the supermarkets.

Livy’s factory is off the grid and run almost totally on solar panels. He employs local seasonal workers and purchases his fruit locally at peak season.  His main complaint is that he can’t get enough fresh breadfruit to fulfil his orders.

Fresh breadfruit, ready to be processed

Earlier this year I spoke with Oliver.  He had found an area of Jamaica which was almost jungle like. The area was filed with lush ferns and moss with  a few mature breadfruit trees..   After he paid local farmers to trim the shrubs and prune the overgrown trees. , he noticed that fruit production increased dramatically. The fruit were larger than before and more flavorful than any.

He just wished that there were more trees. TTFF granted his wish!

Oliver paid to transport, plant and care for the saplings. This project worked well for both TTFF and Livy’s food. Oliver is experienced and has a vested interest, so we are confident that the trees will survive.

His first 100 breadfruit trees are doing well. He expects the first fruit within two years which  will increase his supply dramatically.  Each tree can produce 250 to 300 fruit per year if managed properly.

It’s quite a success story for Livy’s Foods and Trees That Feed Foundation!

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Trees That Feed Foundation on racism

Trees That Feed Foundation works in 18 countries in the Caribbean, Central America, Africa and Asia. We donate fruit trees to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment. Most of the people that we work with are people of color. We collaborate with them with the shared goal of improved nutrition, economic independence and dignity. We understand their challenges and we offer solutions and opportunity.

We stand against racism and hate in all its forms. We stand for respect and equality of all. The Board of Trees That Feed Foundation is committed to fairness and respect toward all individuals and their communities regardless of race, gender, age, culture, nationality, education, religion, and political persuasion.  That is our position.

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200,000 Trees–A Big Milestone!

The good news just won’t quit!  We just issued our Annual Report (read it here). Lots of good stuff there.  But today, with delivery of 600 young breadfruit trees to Northern Caribbean University’s Dr Vincent Wright, we passed a big milestone.  We’ve delivered a total of 200,000 fruit trees to farmers, schools, church groups, NGO programs and individuals in 18 countries.

Peek at this spreadsheet. In just the past six weeks we’ve funded 2,941 trees in five countries. 6,585 this year to date.  Just over 200,000 in eighteen countries since our first shipment of 72 to Jamaica in December 2009.  This is thanks to our many supporters–some provide funding, others work hard as volunteers to get the job done. Planting fruit trees to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment.

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Read Our 2019-20 Annual Report

Hot off the Press!  Our very latest Annual Report is out!

In 2019 we provided nearly 25,000 high quality fruit trees in Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda! And there’s much more news. Africa, Haiti, other countries, lots of  stories.  Read about our partner organizations, see some heart warming Thank You notes, and get the facts and figures behind our work.

Click here to read it all.

And of course a great big THANKS to you, our supporters, who make our work possible!



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