We told you … the World is Discovering Breadfruit!

The government in the Phillippines is now looking at breadfruit to boost food security.

Photo courtesy of Gulf News

Many locations in the Phillippines are ideal for growing breadfruit.  As in the Caribbean years ago, the fruit was available but taken for granted.  Now, artocarpus altilis, or Rima, or Ulu, will become a staple food alongside rice.

We at Trees That Feed like to think, modestly, that we had something to do with raising worldwide awareness of this important food.  (Kudos also to the National Tropical Botanic Gardens for their years of research into breadfruit!)

Click here for the full story.



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The World is Discovering Breadfruit

We are delighted to see the world waking up and discovering (rediscovering?) breadfruit. We’ve seen three major media exposures recently.

Conor Knighton peeling breadfruit. Photo from CBS News

In November CBS Sunday Morning visited the National Tropical Botanic Garden, saw the collection of breadfruit trees and interviewed Dr Diane Ragone.  TTFF has worked with Dr Ragone for 10 years and we greatly appreciate her research. Thanks for the feature, correspondent Conor Knighton!   Click here to see the video clip.

Then just in the last few days Forbes published an article about breadfruit and its potential for food security. They interviewed agricultural economist Omardath Maharaj and provided lots of good information about breadruit nutrition. To see the article click here.   Thanks go to author Daphne Ewing-Chow. And good luck to Omardath with his continuing project.

Back in 2018 the BBC ran a very informative feature on breadfruit and its history and impact in French Polynesia.  Thanks go to author Laura Kiniry.  Click here to see the article.

And of course Mary McLaughlin our founder has been featured on WGN more than once.  Click here to see our report on her interview with Steve Sanders.

We’re too modest ever to boast … but we feel that Trees That Feed Foundation through our work over the last 10 years has helped greatly to raise awareness of this very important “super” food!  We are delighted to see all this information going mainstream!

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Food Tank features Trees That Feed Foundation

Food Tank is a think tank working to improve nutrition, educate, and improve food systems.  Trees That Feed is a member of their network. Recently Food Tank featured a nicely written short article about us.  We’re delighted to get the recognition!  As more people become aware of our work, we’ll become even more effective at carrying out our mission.  We’re planting more trees and alleviating hunger with tasty, nutritious, natural foods!  Click Here to read the article.

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Coloring books launched in Indonesia!

Thanks to our volunteer Michael Morrissey,  300 copies of the Trees That Feed Foundation coloring book are today on the way by courier to the kampung of Taram in the province of West Sumatra.  Thanks also go to Muhamad Hatta Havis, a graduate of one of the schools, for translating!  Thanks also to sama sama, the Jamaica-Indonesia programme for its support!

This is the first Indonesian edition of this wonderful book that teaches the value of fruit trees, with special mention given to the breadfruit, sukun!  Children of two early childhood centres and five primary schools of the village will gather with their teachers to receive their own book and a set of crayons. The teachers will receive a teachers’ guide to maximize value of the book in the curriculum.

Our TTFF coloring book is now in 5 versions … English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Bahasa (Indonesian) and Swahili!  Over 8,000 have been distributed to schools!  Order a copy now on Amazon! 

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Map of Breadfruit Farms and Processors in Jamaica

Combined Map Data in Jamaica showing the locations of fruit trees, farms, and producers.

With help from Syran Stewart, graduate of CASE, we’re mapping the locations of farms with breadfruit trees in Jamaica.  This helps farmers to sell their fruit and processors to buy the fruit. This helps to build the marketplace for post-harvest breadfruit products.  Click here to see our latest map.

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Breadfruit Yield Study Report Issued

Fruit count was observed every 2 weeks for 12 months. The graph shows the number of immature fruit on this specific tree at each observation date.

After a 12 month study, our draft report on breadfruit yield and seasonality in Jamaica is now released.  Big thanks go to our donors and academic sponsors!  Although still in draft form, there’s quite a bit of interesting information.  For example, one of the 52 trees in the study yielded almost 400 fruits in a year, although the average is closer to 154. Fertilizer increases yield hugely, a 91 percent increase according to our study. The main bearing season typically runs May through August, at least in Portland.  Click here to see our map and read the full report.

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Vodka Distilled from Breadfruit!

Award-winning chef Todd Manley, based in the US Virgin Islands, has launched a fabulous new product based on breadfruit.  Vodka!  Vodka is traditionally made from potatoes, but we at Trees That Feed Foundation often call breadfruit “a potato on a tree” because it’s also a nutritious carbohydrate food.  So Todd had the idea to make vodka from breadfruit!  And today is the big product launch!

Samples are on the way to major distributors as we speak.

We love breadfruit and knew it was very versatile … but this is amazing!

Todd’s company will support Trees That Feed Foundation with a contribution for every bottle sold!

Read the full press release here.

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Delicious dried mangoes from Haiti

Congratulations to the team from Beehive Wood Shop Classroom!  That includes Augustane Mexny, Jonathan Euler and Roger Gietzen of Global Freedom Project.  They built a solar dryer to TTFF specifications and are now in full production of dried mangoes!  They are in a remote part of Haiti in the Central Plateau.  The community sometimes has trouble accessing enough food.  Dried fruit like these mangoes produced locally have a long shelf life and retain all the nutrition of the fresh fruit.  This project is a real boon to the community.

We usually talk about breadfruit but as our name suggests, we are happy to help to plant almost any variety of fruit producing trees. We look for whatever type of tree suits the local climate and community’s needs.

Mango trees are a great choice in many places because they tend to be hardy, drought tolerant and very bountiful in production.  There are hundreds of varieties but the local Haitian mango (Madame Francine) is abundant, tasty, nutritious and best of all grows true to seed.  (Many fruit trees have to be grafted or are very difficult to propagate.)

Of course this solar dryer will be used for other fruit when fresh mangoes are no longer in season.

Congratulations and good luck to the community.

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Successful Cooking School in Pignon, Haiti

The town of Pignon in Haiti is located in the central plateau region.  The nearest large towns are Hinche and Mirebalais.  Our working partner Roger Gietzen has been assisting folks in this town for two years.   They have access to breadfruit but it’s been underutilized.  Roger suggested we organize a one-day cooking school.

We contacted our friends at Effort Vision to supply a batch of breadfruit flour.  John Ashford and his wife Dawn have been working in the nearby town of Montrouis for several years.  TTFF helped them to establish a breadfruit flour factory and they’ve become quite successful producing and selling products locally.  John agreed to provide the flour and transportation for attendees to the school.

Everything was set for April 20.  The truck was fixed just in time and all arrangements were in place.  Our instructor was James Charles, who runs Effort Vision operations under the leadership of Pastor Emmanus, who we have mentioned before.   James is a good guy who received training from TTFF and is now passing on his knowledge to others.

On the big day the crowd of approximately 40 people hiked down a mountain trail.  The fire was stoked and equipment was set up.  The batter commenced to being stirred!  Everyone paid close attention to the demonstrations and the various recipes.  You can see from the pictures.   Graduation consisted of sampling the tasty treats!

Cooking school staff

Big thanks to Roger, John, Dawn, James, Pastor Emmanus and all who helped.  TTFF assisted with funding and organizing.

This is a great example of how to help Haiti. We at TTFF help them to get started with a factory, getting organized, showing the way.  But then we want Haitians to help Haiti.  We’re delighted at the success of this cooking school.   And it’s also a great example of how partnering should work.  Trees That Feed and two other organizations collaborated generously to everyone’s success.

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Breadfruit to East Africa

Ecstatic we are to report our second shipment of trees has arrived safely.  They flew into Nairobi, Kenya, courtesy of Cultivaris in Germany and National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii.   With a little help from Trees That Feed Foundation too, of course!  After being cleared at the airport they are hardened in a nursery then shipped out to point beyond, including farmers in Uganda and Tanzania.  The photo shows a happy group of students and teachers at Chang’Ombe Secondary School in Tanzania. 

It’s quite a team that gets credit for this success.  Joseph Matara of Grace Project in Kenya took the first steps.  Mary Kibai in Kenya was caretaker of the trees. She transported them from Nairobi to Mombasa.  Nick deKoning drove through the night to transport trees to Jinja, Uganda.

Mary drove the trees into Tanzania, but they had to be bare rooted first, because soil can’t be transported across borders.  With instructions from Joseph Johnson in Jamaica, Saimon Mollel carefully nursed these young saplings back to life.   The second picture shows those first few green shoots after these little trees had been on an 8 day journey.  Hooray!

Other people too numerous to mention have also contributed to this successful project.  Many farmers, workers, volunteers, teachers, students, have worked together as a team.   These nearly 3,000 breadfruit trees will bear fruit within 3 to 4 years and contribute to feeding tens of thousands of nutritious meals to students in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

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