Plant Trees, Eat Breadfruit, & Regenerate Your Reality
“Agroforestry . . . is a holistic agricultural management system that integrates trees, shrubs, and edible perennial plants to provide multiple crops resistant to pests and diseases.ˮ—Craig R. Elevitch and Diane Ragone
One thing I’ve learned through my work with Jungle Project is that one breadfruit tree can meet a family’s carbohydrate needs for many generations. Planting trees creates so much abundance, because once the trees start fruiting, you can easefully feed birds, animals, your neighbors, your community, and yourself. Planting trees will help your family and community today and support generations to come.
Breadfruit, The Tree of Life
Breadfruit is a key part of traditional Pacific agroforestry systems, many of which have since been usurped by monocultures. The fast-growing, high-yield perennial trees bear fruit in just three to five years and continue producing for decades. Breadfruit also requires significantly less labor and inputs than crops like rice and wheat. Researchers believe that breadfruit, a highly nutritious source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, could be key to alleviating hunger and poverty in tropical regions.
The Jungle Project Vision
Jungle Project is a regenerative enterprise with a tropical agroforestry model located in Costa Rica. Our work focuses on three main pillars: trees, training, and trade. We are continuously researching underutilized crops like breadfruit and then establishing them with smallholder farmers to create value-added supply webs. We support farming communities; help diversify farmer production and income by seeking market opportunities for harvests; and foster the investigation and development of products sourced from farmers’ edible forest gardens. For example, Jungle Project’s Breadfruit Flour is a gluten-free product sourced from regenerative agroforestry “jungles” of Costa Rica.
Through our thoughtfully created community-driven project, we envision a world that thrives through regenerative food forests.
Breadfruit For a Better Tomorrow
Through my work with Jungle Project, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the co-founders of Jungle Project and Jungle Foods, Paul Zink, Agroforestry Expert, CEO and Gustavo Angelo, COO. Paul and Gustavo are committed to their work with breadfruit. Why is breadfruit considered the tree of life? For starters, it is a highly nutritious source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Paul and Gustavo believe that working with farmers to plant breadfruit trees is essential. It is important that we prioritize staple carbohydrates that grow on trees, creating lasting nutrition for communities and carbon in the ground at the same time. Breadfruit can be a solution for malnourishment, world hunger, and environmental issues.
Breadfruit grows best in the tropics, where there are also the most people faced with food insecurity. For millennia, nutrient-packed breadfruit was a staple for Pacific Islanders. Additionally, breadfruit jungles are the perfect food source for areas hit by natural disasters in tropical nations. For example, after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, it took weeks for promised aid to reach people in need. During that time, parts of the island survived for weeks living off breadfruit.
Until recently, bringing breadfruit crops outside the tropics has been difficult because of scale. The trees reproduce slowly from root suckers, and growing just a hundred trees that way takes several years. But now, a technique using tissue culture, or micropropagation, allows thousands of trees to be grown in a single month. At Jungle Project, we are stepping into this new reality. We are scaling up to bring the benefits of the new breadfruit surplus to world markets. At the same time, we protect the rights of farmers and safeguard the health of the environment.
From Micro-communities In the Tropics to The Bigger Picture
Trees have an exponential positive impact. They offer so many opportunities to benefit everyone and everything: people, the environment, food, oxygen, carbon sequestration, medicines, building materials, wildlife habitats, and economic tools for farmers!
In the long run, material things do not make us happy. We get used to them quickly, and then the novelty wears off. What does make us happy is financial security in the sense of not having to deal with poverty or hunger. This is exactly why we should secure our food and water sources by planting trees, tending gardens, and developing sustainable water systems. This is exactly why we should focus on regenerative practices. And it’s exactly what we are doing at Jungle Project.
Ready to get deeper into regeneration? I’d love to help you discover the tricks of the trade. Regenerate Your Reality: Your Guide to Regenerative Living, Love, Happiness, & Sovereignty is my recently published book full of helpful practices I’ve learned in my own process.
Much of the proceeds from this book will be filtered back to regenerative community-based farming models and planting trees in food forests through Kiss the Ground and Jungle Project!
Learn more about their work by visiting their profile on our marketplace.