Our Work with Fruit Tree Planting Foundation

Jul. 31, 2019We are delighted to introduce our new friends at the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. With the gift of trees and community, we celebrated National Avocado Day by supporting their important work (and yes, avocado trees were involved).



In a recent article published by The Guardian, we learned to appreciate the power of trees and how they can quite possibly be one of the answers to saving our planet. Scientists have discovered, “As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as ‘mind-blowing’.”

In the past, we’ve worked with nonprofits such as Friends of Trees, American Forests, Canopy, and the Arbor Day Foundation to protect vast forests and nurture more trees around the world. As a result, we’ve planted over 100,000 trees (189,250 to be exact) together and we are so grateful for all their efforts and the opportunities they have given us. We are beyond excited to see what we will achieve with our new giving partner!

For the month of July, we teamed up with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to help support an extraordinary program with hopes to combat global warming and improve the air, water, and soil quality.

The FTPF so clearly shares a passion for making the world a greener, cleaner and happier place. They wholeheartedly believe that fruit trees provide a solution to many of today’s pressing problems, such as malnutrition and chronic hunger, depleted soils and erosion, flooding and contaminated water sources, food deserts and accessibility. They have created programs that foster orchards where the harvest will be fruitful (pun intended) to communities today and for generations to come. These programs are held at public schools, local centers, Native American reservations, low-income neighborhoods, international hunger relief sites and even at animal sanctuaries.

Food insecurity and malnutrition are pressing issues in Hawai’i, where 80-90% of all food is imported and diets are full of cheap, processed, and packaged foods. The factors that play into poor nutrition and scarcity of real foods, including distance, time, knowledge, exposure, and income, are all directly addressed by bringing fresh fruit straight to local families through community orchards. Thier team is helping Hawaiians regain freedom from the pervasive packaged and imported food system, and aim to do so through the planting of thriving, productive local fruit trees on school campuses and at community centers.

FTPF’s program manager, Lizzy Rainey, shares how one Hawai’i Island teacher whose school received a donation of trees in 2018 described her experience. “This little boy’s face just lit up, and he just said, ‘Wow, fruit is really awesome, and we’re actually going to be able to eat fruit from our school, and I can actually take it home and have food.’ And it just brought tears to my eyes because that’s about giving back to our community and to our kids — not just for now, but in 10, 15 and 20 years, when I’m no longer here, that these trees are going to continue to give.”

Not only are students and members of the community offered the chance to harvest their own fresh fruit, but they are also able to take part in activities that teach them the science of trees and how to nourish their crops. These programs range from the following:

Orchard Planting Events

FTPF creates orchards that are truly rooted in the communities they serve—they are ultimately planted and cared for by those who will directly benefit from them. Each orchard is planted by the local students, families, farmers, staff, and/or neighbors during a half-day planting event led by the FTPF team.

Workshops

FTPF offers free, public workshops led by their arborists who explain the best arboricultural practices and answer any questions from the community. These workshops are a chance for their team to exchange and share information that can lead to longer-lived trees, more sustainable growing practices, and more productive harvests.

Distributions

Some of their programs include distributions to families and farmers who participate in the community orchard planting event and following workshop. Trees that are planted at home have a tremendous survival rate, as recipients have received the necessary experience and training in their care directly from FTPF. Backyard fruit trees also eliminate many of the barriers that exist to healthy food, including distance, accessibility, affordability, and just plain visibility.

Aftercare and Follow-up

FTPF works with local on-the-ground partners to conduct follow-up on all orchards planted to encourage continued community involvement, and outgrowths of the project, such as deeper engagement of youth in other community projects or the development of new orchards. 

We are honored to take part in their mission to support their commitment to sustainability and respecting our planet all while helping bring people together through healthier lifestyles. Thank you to everyone who chose to go green with us last month!

GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY WITH FTPF

Share your favorite nonprofit story with us and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation on social by tagging us @AvocadoMattress & @FruitTreePlantingFoundation

Christine Carpio

By Christine Carpio

 —  Christine shares her contagious passion for green living with a deep love for literature, sustainability, and adventures in the woods. She has always dreamt about living a more simple life, like her hero, Henry David Thoreau, tucked away in the woods to “live deliberately” and “learn what the woods had to teach.”

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