Jan 182012

tagua nut cluster
Have you ever heard of tagua? Are you wondering what is tagua? Tagua is a form of vegetable ivory harvested from a plant called ivory palm. Not only does this vegetable ivory look exactly like tusk ivory, but it has a lot of redeeming traits. Tagua can be the answer to saving rain forests and elephant conservation!

Phytelephas is a genus of six species of palms, which all grow from Panama south along the Andes through Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. They are known as ivory palms, ivory-nut palms, or tagua palms. Their scientific name means “plant elephant”. This refers to the very hard white nut produced by the plant. This nut is called the tagua nut. It resembles elephant ivory. A full-grown tagua tree can reach up to 65 feet in height and will yield several very large, knobby wooden fruits. When it is picked from the tree the tagua nut is covered with skin or pericarp. The pericarp usually gets removed by various animals. When the fruit is cracked open, it reveals several hens’ egg sized tagua nuts, the seeds of the tree. The kernel is covered with a brown flaky skin and is shaped similar to an avocado about 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter. The tagua seeds can be allowed to grow into seedlings to perpetuate the trees, or carved into vegetable ivory products. Continue reading »

Dec 272011

The Macrame Project is facilitated by The Eden’s Rose Foundation. The macramé products sold on “Macrame Project” are a product that benefits 100’s of people directly. The macrame also has a rippling effect. The benefits will help the whole community because it provides jobs and puts money directly in the pockets of the people that produce these macramé accessories. This positive result is made possible by applying a humanistic template called “Direct Trade”.

A brief overview of the direct trade template:

We begin by doing a needs and skills assessment for the community in question. This planning includes a combination of focuses to address the most pressing needs within the community. Our program is then set to meet the people where they are. We strengthen their position and work toward elevation generally along the lines of Maslow’s hierarchy. Our focus being self actualization in its purest scene. Taking into consideration the current local skills and trades we commence with the teaching and job skills training programs.  Whenever possible, we blend  cultural or local skills that may not have a platform in the changing community. We recognize that micro finance alone does not have the capacity to create opportunity for an unskilled, uneducated, and immobilized demographic. Continue reading »