We’ve been busy! Thanks to dedicated partners and intricate planning, Trees That Feed Foundation shipped nearly 2,400 breadfruit trees to five countries in the past month! New homes for the trees are in Belize, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S., and Barbados. We used various combinations of plants and different delivery methods. We’re nothing if not adaptable!
In Belize, John Arana, TTFF partner extraordinaire, welcomed 576 breadfruit trees brought along by our friendly courier Philip Bucknor. Not his first time, John did a fantastic job of replanting with care. He had 100 percent survival. He’s in the process now of distributing to farmers in the region who will nurture these babies to fruiting maturity.
The First Lady of the Bahamas, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, was integral in the 360-tree Bahamas project. “Breadfruit is the answer to the food sustainability problem we have,” she said during a planning meeting. “Everyone wants one in their yard.” To get this shipment to its destination, the trees went by FedEx to Dr. Ken Banks, TTFF board member. Ken successfully tracked down a delivery to the wrong address! Dr. Ann Higgins served as our courier. Sydney Carroll runs a professional tree nursery in Nassau. He is taking care of the trees, “hardening” them for distribution to Michael Fitton and George Johnson, who will replant in Grand Bahama, which was devastated two years ago by Hurricane Dorian.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago Breadfruit Initiative Chair Dedan Daniel and Barry Lovelace have a comprehensive plan to plant fruit trees and build food sovereignty. Their first step was working with us at TTFF to grow breadfruit trees. After Shipment Plan A fell through, Plan B was put into action. 576 tiny trees were sent by FedEx, cleared customs in Port of Spain, Trinidad, then with some heroic on the spot action by the team, delivered to Tobago’s lab for replanting. The Tobago team is ecstatic with three new varieties: Otea, Ma’afala and Yellowheart.
In Barbados, longtime partner Barney Gibbs was key to the job. Mike met senior government officials at an actuarial meeting in Barbados in December. That led to contacts with Hon. Indar Weir, Minister of Agriculture, who requested 2,000 breadfruit plants. After a merry-go-round chase between the inspectors in California and the Quarantine office in Barbados, a shipment went by Fed Ex to Dr. Ken Banks, who transferred them to Caribbean Airlines air freight. This shipment brought 648 more Otea breadfruit trees into the country, with more to follow.
There is one country that sadly is deficient in breadfruit trees. The USA. Working to remedy that, we shipped 261 trees destined for Steve Herndon’s Hidden Acres farm in Hollywood, Grimal Grove run by Patrick Garvey in Big Pine Key, and for Ken Banks to conduct further testing of these tiny Stage 3 plants.
Not bad results for 30 days, right?
The time and effort Trees That Feed Foundation friends offered up in all these countries over the past month was enormous. We are grateful for the passion they feel for our mission, and we hope you, our wonderful supporters, feel it too!