Trees at The Source

Jordan ASeptember 11th, 2014. Trees That Feed Foundation has the privilege of working with individuals, communities, and organizations all over the world, all of whom share a common goal of improving the environment and alleviating hunger. Some of these individuals include Peace Corps volunteers, working on environmental causes. TTFF recently provided trees to Jordan Waldschmidt, a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, for her community project. Meet and hear from her below!

“My name is Jordan Waldschmidt and I am serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland Jamaica. My position is with The Source, a community resource centre that aims at serving the people of four surrounding communities. As a green initiative volunteer, part of my role is to help The Source become more environmentally conscious. With my supervisor, we made the decision to create a community garden will serve The Source greatly. As a part of building the community garden, we decided to plant trees.

I found out about TTFF through a fellow volunteer, and the process of getting trees could not have been easier! I sent out an email asking for information, received a prompt email in response with the application, filled out the application, and then a week later I found out that eight trees were ready to be picked up in Spanish Town!A week later we launched the garden project and planted the trees, and everyone in the community came out to help. It was a great day, and I was told by many of the children that they really enjoyed planting the trees. Thank you, Trees That Feed! We can’t wait until the trees start growing and bearing fruit!”

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Trees That Feed Heroes: Cathy Henry

CathyMrs. Cathy Henry is spearheading Trees That Feed in Schools (TTFIS), the flagship partnership program between Trees That Feed Foundation and Rotary. Through TTFIS, Trees That Feed, Rotary and the Jamaican Government have come together to place food-bearing trees in Jamaica’s schools. Thousands of students across the island will have access to nutritious, sustainable food sources due to Cathy’s leadership and passion. We can’t thank you enough, Cathy!

Cathy was born in Winnipeg, Canada and is a member of St. Catherine’s South Rotary Club in Ontario. She spent her career as a nurse and is married to Dr. David Henry. They have two children and four grandchildren. Cathy lived in Jamaica for over five years and saw firsthand the island-wide poverty and hunger. Upon reflection of her own family’s blessings, Cathy wanted to assist those less fortunate. Rotary’s mandate of “Service Above Self” and presence in over 170 countries inspired Cathy to help build and lead the TTFIS program. Cathy travels throughout Jamaica and to various Rotary clubs in Southern Ontario to talk about breadfruit, meet new people, form partnerships and build awareness about the global scourge of hunger and poverty.

The program has grown to now have Rotary International on board. Cathy hopes that other Rotary Clubs worldwide will be able to learn from the TTFIS’ method of distributing food-bearing trees in Jamaica and will adapt the program to the needs of their respective countries. The TTFIS program and Cathy’s influence is teaching all of us how a simple, inexpensive tree can grow to form a sustainable way of alleviating hunger and poverty worldwide. Thank you again, Cathy, for all that you are doing!
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Let Them Eat Breadfruit

BBCIn a recent edition of BBC’s “Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World,” historian Peter Turchin pitches breadfruit!

He explains that, for many, wheat is an unhealthy food, and changing from what to breadfruit and other tropical crops would be a boon to poorer tropical countries.

Click here to hear Dr. Turchin’s full pitch about why we should stop eating bread made from wheat and switch to breadfruit.

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A New Kind of Tree for the Holidays!

TreePicPostOnly one week left until Christmas! Still working on your holiday list? We have the perfect gift for your loved ones: a breadfruit tree.

One breadfruit tree is just $15 and can provide food for an entire family for decades.

By providing a breadfruit tree to a family, you are not just providing a meal or two; you are providing the means for a family to secure food for themselves for years to come.

Gift a tree in honor of your family and friends this holiday season while helping to ensure families around the globe have the nourishment they need to grow and be healthy. With each gift, TTFF can send you a gift card or electronic message for your loved one.

We hope you will join us in making the season a little more meaningful this year!

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Diversification for a Food-secure Future

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Nyree Zerega, a TTFF board member, recently published an article about diversifying food using underutilized crops, particularly noting the importance of alleviating our reliance on wheat, corn and rice to achieve global food security.

Although the world has cultivated over 10,000 plant species for food,we rely on about 90 plant crops (fewer than 1 percent of potential crops) for 90 percent of our diet. And for nearly 60 percent of food needs, the world relies on wheat, rice and corn. This reliance distances us from reaching global food security. Why? Being reliant on so few crops “increases our vulnerability to crop failures due to disease, drought or other predictable stresses that can lead to famine. Additionally, many major crops require tremendous energy input…With more than 1 billion people suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition and considered food insecure, alternatives are needed.”

One of these alternatives includes breadfruit! “Breadfruit yield and nutrition statistics rival those of wheat and corn, and the trees are traditionally grown in multicrop agroforestry systems, which help prevent soil erosion and provide a complex habitat that can support a wider variety of wildlife and sequester more carbon than modern agricultural systems. Perhaps most compelling is thatbreadfruit can grow in parts of the world where food and economic insecurity are the highest, including Haiti, Liberia and Ghana.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

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Yvonne’s First Breadfruit Tree

Yvonne2Thanks to the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a key partner and supporter of Trees That Feed Foundation, Yvonne has just planted her first breadfruit tree.

Yvonne is a member of theSmallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) in Haiti, a Haitian-led organization of over 2,000 smallholder farmers. SFA is also a key partner of ours, and it’s through their hard work and the support of the Breadfruit Institute that over 1,000 breadfruit trees are being distributed from Trees That Feed amongst farmers in their network. These breadfruit trees provide sustainable food sources for the community and lessen dependence on food imports. Thanks again to our amazing partners!

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Make It Better 2014 Philanthropy Award

MakeItBetterAwardTrees That Feed is thrilled to be a recipient of one of Make It Better’s 2014 Philanthropy Awards! Winners were recognized in six award categories: education, athletics, social service, environment, social justice and audience choice.

On Friday, National Philanthropy Day, Make It Better notified winners with surprise office visits. We happily welcomed the Make It Better team into our office with the exciting news that Trees That Feed won for the environment category. Trees That Feed has distributed over 60,000 fruit-bearing trees around the world to improve the environment and alleviate hunger. Thank you, Make It Better, for the recognition and honor!


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Trees That Feed Heroes: Mr. Locksley Waites

RandiAfiaLocksleyCathy2014Mr. Locksley Waites has distributed more than 6,000 treesfor Trees That Feed Foundation!  He is the project coordinator and tree crop agronomist for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in Jamaica. Pictured here on the far left, with TTFF board member Cathy Lyn and University of Minnesota students Randi De Mel and Afia Adaboh, Mr. Waites is on a quest to plant fruit trees that reap economic benefits to individuals as well as his country. 

RADA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries started working together in 2000 to assist farmers in Jamaica with planting fruit trees, with RADA serving as the implementing agency. Trees distributed from this alliance feed people and provide an export market, while also helping with soil conservation.

Born and raised in Jamaica, Mr. Waites has four sons. He has partnered with TTFF from the very beginning in December 2009.  Mr. Waites has been invaluable orchestrating tree distributions in Jamaica and coordinating the people who make it all work. Thank you, Locksley!
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TIME for Breadfruit

SFA farmer getting trees AWe are excited to see breadfruit highlighted in TIME this week!Check out the article here, if you haven’t already. Josh Schonwald introduces readers to three superfoods, largely unknown in the U.S., that may just become the next big thing. Breadfruit, of course, is one. 

But what exactly is a superfood? Real superfoods possess “super-traits.” A superfood can be “high in protein, low in fat, gluten-free, loaded with omega-3s, bursting with antioxidants and overflowing with folate, fiber and phytonutrients.”
Breadfruit, as we know, is a “nutritional powerhouse…with more potassium in one cup than three bananas,” and it can help alleviate hunger for millions worldwide. Breadfruit is loaded with fiber, calcium, phosphorous, copper and other essential nutrients. Some cultivars even have high levels of beta-carotene, which makes breadfruit “a promising weapon against vitamin A deficiency, the leading cause of blindness in children.”
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Trees That Feed Heroes: Mr. Joseph Johnson

Mr. Joseph Johnson AMr. Joseph Johnson is an academically trained agronomist who understands breadfruit cultivars and knows the best varieties to plant. He owns and operates Eltham Gardens Plant Nursery in St. Catherine, Jamaica, and serves as Chief Plant Propagation Specialist with the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture at Bodles Research Station. TTFF secures a variety of fruit trees, including breadfruit, mango, avocado, pomegranate and cashew, from Mr. Johnson’s nursery.

In 2014, Joseph cultivated and shipped over 1,000 pomegranate plants to Haiti and handled all aspects of transport. He also just recently shipped 1,000 cashew seeds from Jamaica to Haiti.

Our hero is an innovator! Using his expertise, Joseph is working on a new way of grafting so that original roots will produce better plants. He is focusing on the June Plum, which has excellent juice. (One may argue that this juice could easily replace orange juice.)  Another one of his projects includes developing a new way of air grafting pimento (allspice).

Mr. Joseph Johnson always gets our trees to the right people, and he makes sure that they are planted properly. He is a perfect TTFF partner, hero and friend! Thank you, Joseph, for all of your help and wise advice.

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