1,000 More Trees to Haiti

20140422_120843CroppedSmallerJune 9th, 2014. Mike and I recently returned from TTFF’s trip to Haiti. We visited communities throughout the Haiti that have received trees from our organization. We went to Three Angels‘ nursery in Port-Au-Prince and saw the first fruit on TTFF Ma’afala breadfruit trees planted there in 2012. Success! (You can see a picture of the fruit if you scroll below.) The trees are vigorously healthy. We then visited Three Angels’ school and saw over 250 schoolchildren who regularly eat breadfruit porridge; a critical, nutritious meal. A satisfied tummy helps the kids to learn!

Later in the week, we met with theSmallholder Farmers Alliance in Gonaives. With over 2,000 members, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance has made great stride with trees they have received from TTFF. These trees will provide sustainable food sources for local farmers and their families, along with economic opportunity. We had proud, happy farmers tell us that now, with TTFF trees, they can feed their families all year long.

But there are still many communities among the barren hillsides in Haiti that don’t have enough food. During our trip, we continued to witness firsthand how large this need for food actually is. So large, in fact, that we are aiming to turn around and deliver 1,000 trees in Haiti by the end of June. By providing more than 40,000 trees from TTFF supporters to communities throughout the Caribbean, we’ve already helped reduce hunger. We’re making real progress. But we can’t slow down now. We hope that you will join us in giving as many trees as you can today.

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Checking in with Randi and Afia

RandiAfiaBlogPostJune 25th, 2014. Randi and Afia, two graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, are in their third week of their TTFF summer fieldwork project in Jamaica. They continue to travel throughout the country,meeting with farmers, gathering data and geo-tagging TTFF trees. They are finding that TTFF breadfruit trees are thriving and many farmers have developed various plans for the use of the breadfruit, including processing breadfruit flour to make food products, making sales to exporters and feeding farm staff.

After multiple farm visits last week, the next stop for Randi and Afia was meeting with the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association (JTFA) to interview Mr. Wordsworth Gordon and Ms. Ivy Gordon, the president and secretary of JTFA. The Gordons offered valuable insights on commercialization of Jamaican farm produce and how agriculture in Jamaica can be improved.

We are thrilled to share an additional, exciting update about Randi and Afia’s work:They were selected to present at Columbia University’s 2014 International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice in New York City in September. They will be presenting about TTFF and our work to increase food security. Congratulations, Randi and Afia! We are proud of you.

We will continue to keep you posted on Randi and Afia’s progress!

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Breadfruit Flour Feeding Patients in Haiti

Dr. CoffeeJune 6th, 2014. During our trip to Haiti, we reached out to the local TB/AIDS hospital that receives breadfruit flour from TTFF. This flour is produced locally, contains many nutrients and has a very long shelf-life. The flour is made into a porridge, which is easily digestible for patients. Below is a clip of an email from Dr. Megan Coffee, the well-known doctor who runs the hospital:

“The breadfruit flour has been a real help. We use it to supply three meals a day for 50+ patients and their families, as well as to provide supplemental food for hundreds of outpatients. I would say we only want more breadfruit. Currently we do not have an inpatient ward, but we continue to follow outpatients who have been using this flour. Many of our patients arrive as adults weighing 20-30kg, many not more than 50lbs. Any nutrition they liked was – and is – important.”

We are very happy to be able to support Dr. Coffee’s work and the patients at her hospital. We are excited to continue planting trees and using fruit to produce breadfruit flour!

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First Fruit in Haiti

FirstFruitHaiti5.2014May, 2014. Exciting news: We have our first fruit in Haiti! Mike and Mary have officially made it to Haiti and kicked off their trip with checking in on local TTFF trees. Rotarian Ed Rice showed Mike and Marythe first fruit on TTFF Ma’afala breadfruit treesthat were planted at Three Angels’ nursery in Port au Prince almost three years ago. We are excited to see that these trees are on track! Stay tuned for more trip updates.

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1,000 Cashew Trees for Haiti

Cashew Seeds Blog Post A (1)August 13th, 2014. While our largest focus here at TTFF is on breadfruit, we also distribute trees of other varieties. Depending on climate and growing conditions, these varieties have included pomegranate, mango, lychee, guava, ackee – and now cashew!

The cashew is an important nut crop that provides food and employment to various nations. Through the generosity of TTFF supporters, we were able to send the first TTFF shipment of cashew seeds down to Haiti. They were delivered to Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), one of our partners, where the seeds were distributed to farmers amongst the organization. Timote Georges, SFA Co-founder, called this morning to report that the cashews are thriving with a 95% germination rate! Not only are resilient, fast-growing cashew trees ideal for the climate in Haiti, but they also provide economic opportunity for farmers and families. (The New York Times just featured a piece about the potential of cashews for juice – check it out here!) We can’t wait to see continued success with cashews in Haiti.

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Randi and Afia are off to Jamaica

MinnHumphreyLogoJune 5th, 2014. Two graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Randi and Afia, have officially kicked off their summer fieldwork project with Trees That Feed Foundation! The project is a collaboration between Trees That Feed Foundation, College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) and other partnering organizations in Jamaica. Randi and Afia will be traveling throughout Jamaica for six weeks, working on gathering information to improve livelihoods of rural farmers and increase food security through the cultivation and use of breadfruit trees in Jamaica.The project is divided into two broad areas: A socio-economic portion that focuses on identifying and effectively linking farmers, extension officers, and processors in the breadfruit industry, and an agro-ecology portion that focuses on assessing the baseline survivability rate of donated breadfruit trees throughout the island. Randi and Afia will be working on geo-tagging these TTFF trees with farmers throughout the country. Their experience in Jamaica will be invaluable, and we are looking forward to posting updates about their findings during their trip!

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Mary McLaughlin and TTFF on NPR

Radio LogoJuly, 2013. Jerome McDonald interviewed Mary McLaughlin on NPR’s Worldview. In a wide ranging 15 minute discussion, Mary and Mike explained the mission of Trees That Feed and provded lots of information about breadfruit.  It was a great opportunity and TTFF gots lots of compliments!  [link has expired]

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Haiti 2013

420IMG_0495February, 2013. Mary and Mike McLaughlin just returned from a busy trip to Haiti.  They made many stops, including visits to Port au Prince, Croix de Bouquet, Grand Goave and Petionville. They held a series of meetings with Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Floresta Ayiti, Universite Grand Anse, Three Angels, consultants to the Ministry of Commerce, the Chamber of Deputies, the Baptist Mission and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Diocese. They also held meetings with commercial interests who may develop food products or environmentally beneficial enterprises.

Mike and Mary found enthusiastic support for the work of TTFF in providing trees, equipment, training and market development for fresh fruit and post-harvest products. Overall, they had a busy and productive trip!

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Entrepreneurship in Haiti

HaitianLadyVendor12132013February, 2014. From Eric Helgemo, our Haitian representative: Here is a nice picture of one of our new tree vendors and her nephew. She is a widow with several children, ages seven to 16. She is a street vendor and sells hot coffee heated over charcoal, and now sells trees on the side with hopes to make enough money to buy a clean propane stove for her micro business.Through providing trees to individuals, such as this vendor, TTFF is helping to build sustainable food sources and businesses.

Lots more exciting TTFF news below.  Also, please see frequent TTFF updates on our Facebook page!

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Breadfruit, a great food source

MapHere’s an article worth reading from National Geographic! Lots of information about breadfruit as a food source.  From National Geographic.

“Although obesity is in the news in the West, starvation and malnutrition are prevalent in many parts of the world. Scientists continue to search for new food sources. One of the most promising foods gaining interest is breadfruit.

This world hunger map from the article shows large overlap with areas of high hunger levels and areas with high potentials for breadfruit growth.

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