Whilst researching the pine beetle, I came across the Moringa tree.
This boy’s dad grows moringa trees for a living.
The Moringa tree originates from India but is found in Honduras. It is often referred to as the vitamin tree.
This tree can be particularly beneficial in Honduras. It is easy to grow, will survive in poor soil, needs very little care or water and is fast growing. It is also a tree which helps to hold the soil together. Its special bonus is that the leaves are good to eat.
The Moringa tree can be likened to growing a multivitamin factory at your doorstep. The leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked.
- 2 times more protein than yoghurt
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 4 times the calcium in milk
- 3 times the potassium in bananas
- Plus many other vitamins and minerals, including iron.
When I advised our colleagues in Honduras about it, they were keen to find the plant and start to grow it. Having found a local grower, they used some of the ‘tree’ money we sent to buy Moringa trees. The cost was £1.80 each for a small plant. The pine trees were costing £2.
Cesar went further afield and managed to buy 500 Moringa trees at 60p each.
These were brought back to the Valle, where they have been planted in places where beetle damaged trees have been felled. In the future we also plan to give Moringa plants to families and schools. This could be a great help to families with children who, through lack of finance, have poor diets.