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Alumni collaboration began after a fifty year gap by Michael Morrissey

Alumni collaboration began after a fifty year gap by Michael Morrissey

They were together on the Mona Campus in 1970: Mary Virtue and Mike McLaughlin, soon to marry, undergraduates in the Faculty of Science, and Michael Morrissey a graduate student of Geography. They lost contact until a couple of years ago when a common interest led to a most productive collaboration. All three had grasped breadfruit as the new focus of their endeavors.

Mary and Mike established the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) in 2008 to advocate for planting trees in the tropical world, with a particular focus on breadfruit. Michael Morrissey, moving from Jamaica to Indonesia in 2006, found himself attracted to the history of the migration of breadfruit and other fruit trees from the Pacific and East Indies in the 18th century. 

By the magic of social media, the three reconnected and Michael offered support to the Foundation by way of writing a few Facebook posts based on his research under the topic BREADFRUIT HISTORY STORIES. The few grew to fifty and the weekly audience grew and grew. Covid-19 helped the output of stories as Michael was unable to leave his hilltop home in Bali.

The decision was taken by TTFF in mid-2021 to turn these stories into a hardcover book. It was not only that the focus of stories was Breadfruit. But the stories covered all continents, most of the countries of the Caribbean, and touched on breadfruit in art, literature, cuisine, politics, and culture. The Foundation decided that BREADFRUIT STORIES would work well as a coffee table book to be browsed through entrancing readers with the fruit trees’ amazing history and their potential for the future of nutrition. The blockade of wheat exports of Ukraine this very year has had an immediate impact on the hungry in the tropics - reinforcing the potential of tropical crops such as breadfruit.

The book can be purchased on Amazon.com. A portion of the proceeds of each and every book sale will go to the distribution of breadfruit plants to Caribbean and African countries (the author waived receipt of any royalty). Not only will UWI Alumni have a most stimulating read when you purchase a copy, but you will immediately contribute to food for those most in need through the work of the Trees That Feed Foundation.

 

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