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8 Ways Change is Growing for Farmers on the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis

Written by Lindsay Cobb

Lasting, sustainable change is growing on farms in some of the most challenging climates on the planet. Trees for the Future (TREES) is not just a tree planting organization. It takes the initiative to a whole different level by breaking many negative cycles at once.  

TREES works with farmers across sub-Saharan Africa where high temperatures and extreme weather events are becoming more common every year. 

Despite the challenges, farmers see real change taking shape thanks to a regenerative agroforestry technique called the Forest Garden Approach. With training from TREES, farmers are learning to restore their degraded farmland and are gaining the tools and knowledge they need to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Change is growing in the soil under our feet, and we can see it taking shape in the towering tree canopies overhead.  

These are just eight ways change is growing for Forest Garden farmers: 

1 – A Relationship with Trees 

The average Forest Garden is home to 2,500+ trees. Those trees survive to maturity and thrive for years because the farmer depends on them to protect her land, provide resources, and feed her family. 

2 – Healthier Soil 

Our healthy soils are disappearing all over the world. But Forest Garden farmers are rebuilding their soil with nature-based solutions like agroforestry and compost. 

3 – The Return of Biodiversity 

Forest Gardens are biodiversity hotspots. As farmers plant more trees and native species, birds, insects, and beneficial micro-organisms all return to the land in full force. 

4 – Capturing and Storing Carbon 

Healthy landscapes are our oldest, most reliable carbon sinks. In the global effort to reach zero emissions, Forest Garden farmers are capturing and storing an average of 62.8 metric tons of carbon in 20 years. Learn more about TREES’ newest carbon project

5 – Improved Health for the Entire Family 

A Forest Garden’s diversity benefits the planet, but it also improves nutrition and food access for the whole family. With more nutrient-packed foods growing year-round, farming families enjoy a well-balanced diet and are able to meet global targets for food security within two to three years of joining the program. 

6 – A Reliable Income Week After Week 

Instead of growing just one crop like corn or sorghum, farmers grow dozens of crops in their Forest Gardens. So instead of one payday, they experience dozens of paydays. After establishing their Forest Gardens, farmers can afford things like education for their kids and healthcare for the family. Plus, they can save for the future. 

7 – A Better Future for Women and Girls 

TREES requires each project to be made up of 30% women participants. Women are becoming leaders in their communities, paving the way for more women in farming, business, and climate change mitigation. At the same time, parents who join the program can afford to send their daughters to school and university, ensuring that girls and young women have access to life-changing education. 

8 – Lasting Change for the Next Generation 

The change growing in each Forest Garden extends far beyond the garden itself. With each farmer trained, every tree planted, and each happy, healthy family, lasting change is growing for the future of our planet and everyone on it. 

We break the cycles of hunger, poverty, and climate change by working together to advance lasting solutions. Join the fight, donate today

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