Trees That Feed Foundation

Dominican Republic

In La Vega province of the Dominican Republic, Altair Rodriguez runs a unique, organic family farm called La Finca Tierra Negra (LFTN.)

Altair Rodriguez at La Finca Tierra Negra

Altair said that her goal is “to turn it into a model farm that motivates farmers to shift from growing annuals and monocrops that are gradually degenerating and killing our soil to agroforestry systems that improve biodiversity and regenerate our soil, incorporating trees with all of their benefits and making it economically viable.”

Breadfruit trees are among Ms. Rodriguez’s biodiverse plant system. She has planted around 500 breadfruit seedlings since 2018. Among other benefits, they provide shade for cacao plants.

Monoculture vs. Agroforestry

We connected her with an environmentalist named Ansermo Uceta, who is doing community reforestation work in Northwest Dominican Republic. Altair generously transported 379 other breadfruit saplings to Ansermo and 300 families living in nine communities in the municipality of Villa los Almacigos in the Santiago Rodriguez Province.

TTFF partners with other like-minded organizations working the Dominican Republic. We have been planting trees with Plant with Purpose for more than a decade. And Mary Johnson, founder and CEO of Regenerative Farms, has collaborated closely with us for many years, as well.

Breadfruit tostones

Raquel de Jesus has a large factory in the Dominican Republic called FINCA Panapen. She makes delicious breadfruit tostones that are exported to Puerto Rico and Florida.

We’re also grateful to work with breadfruit plant nursery owner Francesca Arian Giraldi and Harvey Garcia of Westfalia Fruit.

A few members of the delegation of Rotary members who visited us from the Dominican Republic with an Evanston Rotarian and TTFF’s Mary and Mike McLaughlin.

In 2023, a large delegation from four Rotary clubs in the Dominica Republic visited the TTFF office in Illinois to start talks of collaboration. The connection came through an Evanston, IL Rotary club. Mary presented TTFF at their meeting earlier in the year.