Trees That Feed Foundation

Uganda: A Harvest And A New Solar Dehydrator

The breadfruit you see in this photo was roasted and savored this week in Uganda. The satisfaction of the harvest was hard won and required intricate coordination, as well as the determination of cherished partners, over some years!

Four years ago, Trees That Feed Foundation shipped 750 breadfruit trees from our supplier in Germany to Kenya. The first big hurdle was cleared when they successfully made it through customs and quarantine. We follow every international regulation “to the T” for each shipment.

Then Joe Matara and his team from The GRACE Project took the lead. They kept the saplings in a shade house, repotting, watering, and strengthening them until they could be safely distributed to farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Next up – another hurdle. Nick Dekoning of UWEPO drove from Uganda to Kenya for retrieval… overnight… in a torrential downpour. The challenge didn’t stop there. Soil can’t be transported internationally, so the roots of the plants had to be cleaned of all soil. After two hours of meticulous work, they were ready. It was another successful border crossing!

This is just one example of the effort and determination it takes for Trees That Feed and its partners to fulfill our mission. We’re celebrating this harvest. And we hope you are too. You trust us with your resources, and we just love to deliver.

A big thank you to our donors, including the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and YOU!

Note: This year we shipped 2,500 more breadfruit trees to Uganda. AND, also in Uganda…

We are working with Luuk Eikmans to build a solar dehydrator. You may recall that the design was created by Mike McLaughlin in coordination with Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. You may also remember that we have partners utilizing 18 of these already in Haiti and Jamaica and building even more. But this is our first in East Africa.

Most tropical fruit has such prolific harvests that much is wasted. But the solar dehydrator dries the excess fruit and extends the food supply exponentially over a long period of time. If it’s breadfruit, it can then be ground into flour.

Luuk is eager to get his solar dehydrator just right, so he has been consulting us to perfect the design. It has three collectors, each almost eight feet long, which collect 6 kilowatts of solar energy. It will dehydrate 100-120 pounds of fruit in a few hours. You can read all about this ingenious piece of equipment here.

Thank you for making this work in Uganda possible!

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