Do you know what is one of the best things about Green Drinks being so popular? Well surprisingly it's that you have to wait in line! As we told you 800 people came to the Christmas Party in New York, many of who had to wait on the street to get in. But, as I said to the person waiting patiently next to me, it doesn't really matter if you are inside or outside the party you still get to meet interesting people! True enough, as that person turned out to be Cem Akin, the director of The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. While we queued Cem told me that the FTPF is a non-profit working to "strategically plant orchards where the harvest will best serve the community for decades to follow, at places such as homeless shelters, drug rehabs, low-income areas, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries. FTPF's projects benefit the environment, human health, and animal welfare-all at once!"The first thing to say is that the FTPF are not aiming small. Their primary mission is to 'plant and help others plant a collective total of 18 billion fruit trees across the world (approximately 3 for every person alive) and encourage their growth under organic standards.' Woweeee, that's an amazing ambition. We wish them every success with their planting endeavours. They are already into the thousands, having planted trees in California, Florida, Hawaii, New England, and Washington over the last few years. They choose to plant fruit trees to 'bring vibrant health to the community by making delicious, fresh local fruits and vegetables accessible. Plantings are designed to follow the contours of the land, creating swales to guide water back into the earth and address erosion issues, and replenish organic matter in the soil which is so critical to the core health of the planet.'
The FTPF runs several programs: "Fruit Tree 101" is sponsored by Starbucks and 'involves orchard donations to public schools in low-income areas to provide generations of students and teachers with healthy nutrition options and environmental education opportunities'. The "Orchards for Animals" program improves lives for rescued animals on sanctuaries by providing fruit trees for shade, shelter, enrichment, and healthy diets. The "Roots of Recovery" program donates fruit tree orchards to facilities where the harvest will help patients and residents with healing—places such as drug rehabs, hospitals, and health centers. The "Reservation Preservation" program provides fruit and nut tree orchards to low-income communities on Native American Indian Reservations.
The FTPF say '18 billion fruit trees can spring out of the soul of one human being — we believe in thinking big, and loving even more.' To find out how you can get involved or benefit from FTPF's work please visit their website. Thanks to Cem for chatting to me while we queued to get into Green Drinks. ::The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.
You can read more about The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation's work in India in a recently published article in The Hindu, one of India largest newspapers.