How to Grow a 100 year old Forest

Obviously, you can’t literally grow a century-old forest in just a decade, but by mimicking nature’s forest-building process, it’s possible to kickstart your own mini-forest.

When you do please make not to use GMO plants and native to your country plants.


Trees for the Future

This woman is watering seedlings in a tree nursery that’s part of one of our projects in Senegal. Training farmers to create nurseries and grow seedlings is a vital part of building a network of forest gardens. Our technicians travel between villages to work with farmers like the woman in the photo, often over roads that are almost impassible in the rainy seasons. But the results are worth it. Planting trees, changing lives:








Trees for the Future

Brazilian farmer Ana Maria at work in the vegetable garden that forms part of the community’s forest garden. Forest gardens meet many needs for local farm families: they provide food, forest products like fuel wood and (through cash crops like coffee) a sustainable income. Within four years, a forest garden can raise a family’s income by a factor of ten! Planting out of poverty:





Trees for the Future

Cassava plants on the Ricarte Dela Cruz family farm in the Philippines. Cassava is the third-largest source of carbohydrates in the tropics (after rice and corn/maize), and it can grow in marginal soils like those found in many of our projects. In the lower right, you can also see part of a tree nursery, full of seedlings destined to join these plants in the family forest garden. Planting trees, changing lives:





Trees for the Future

Thumbs up! Nice TREES t-shirt, too. You can see the excitement on the faces of this family from the Luesla da Silva community in the Barra Nova region of Brazil. Behind them is the lush greenery of the forest garden we helped them build, which is now providing them and their neighbors food and an income in a sustainable way. Plus, we’re helping the planet in the process! Planting trees, changing lives:





Trees for the Future

This woman is carrying tree seedlings as part of a community tree-planting in Gersale village in Ethiopia. One important aspect of a forest garden: the variety of tree and plant species involved. Having different kinds of food sources helps to protect against the failure of a single crop during drought or because of blight. Also, trees bring moisture up from deeper in the soil, and their leaves provide shade for more-vulnerable food plants. Planting out of poverty:




Trees for the Future

All of the hard work in the tree nurseries comes down to this: a tiny tree, planted in the soil. This seedling in India is part of a forest garden in the making. Besides helping to support the local community, it will sequester carbon dioxide in its roots and leaves and pump out the oxygen we breathe. A small piece of green now, but one with big potential. Planting trees, changing lives: