News Archives

News posts from 2012

December edition of newsletter out now

Posted on Thursday, 13 December 2012 | Permalink

In the December 2012 issue, you will read about the Learn Grow delivery model and how it can be included in existing Rotary projects that you may be running.

We also review the year that was, as well as looking forward to the future with the recent development of our new strategic plan for the next three years.

Those items, and much more, await you in the December 2012 edition.

Farm scientist inspires

Posted on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 | Permalink

The feature on agricultural scientist, Bruce French, published in The Mercury newspaper (see latest news item of 8 August 2012) prompted a letter to the editor of that newspaper by reader, John Tindall.

The letter is reproduced here with the consent of the author.

Thank you for running the story of agricultural scientist Bruce French in the Saturday Magazine (Mercury on Saturday, August 4).  I found the story informative and uplifting. This story deserves to be run on the front page not tucked away in the Saturday Magazine (no offence intended to the magazine).  A lifetime of dedication to the cause of feeding people the world over.  Identifying and using existing natural food sources and providing key information without any financial gain, puts this man up there with gold medal and Nobel Prize winners.  How he has maintained his focus is amazing and inspiring.  He is subjected to the indifference of our Government and others, who are no doubt more impressed with big food business interests and the gains each can make from pushing each other's barrow.  Our Government could allocate a few million dollars of aid funding to get the information Mr French has produced to the people of the world, who could really benefit from it and in one relatively simple action make a big difference.

John Tindall
Deep Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Take the opportunity to express your view!


Hungry to help: Bruce French's quest

Posted on Wednesday, 8 August 2012 | Permalink

Looking for an inspirational read?  Then don't miss this feature story providing background to the ongoing development of the database of over 24,000 food plants by Tasmanian agricultural scientist, Bruce French.

Photos and story reproduced courtesy of Saturday Magazine of 4 August 2012, Mercury Newspaper, Tasmania, Australia.

Click here to access.

The Rotarian provides excellent summary of our work

Posted on Friday, 13 July 2012 | Permalink

The June 2012 edition of The Rotarian offers an excellent background summary of the work of Learn Grow and the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group.

To read the inspirational article from the magazine, click here or view online at .

Technical support specialist required for Tanzania

Posted on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 | Permalink

To help people in developing countries better understand the value of local plant resources to address malnutrition, we are developing field guides of important food plants.  These guides are developed by extracting information from the Food Plants International database. As enquiries are received, we like to appoint a unique specialist for each country. It does not require knowledge of the country, or a need to visit, although the former would be an advantage and the latter a possible outcome.  What we do need are people who have training and experience in agronomy or related disciplines and time to undertake the work. We are able to provide all of the necessary instruction and guidance.

We have a particular need right now to develop a field guide for Tanzania.  To capitalise on an opportunity provided by a group going to the country in September, we would like to identify someone immediately to complete this task by the end of August. We estimate it could take up to 50 hours to complete.

If you are able to help on this occasion, or know of someone who could be interested, we would be very pleased to hear from you. Likewise, if you are interested, but not at this time, we would still like to hear from you because we are receiving regular enquiries.

Catch up with the latest news on the project

Posted on Friday, 29 June 2012 | Permalink

The Learn Grow Newsletter for July 2012 provides information on the latest news and developments with the project.

Read about our booth and breakout session at the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok.  And there's an update on further enhancements being made to the food plants database.

Of special significance, there is a challenge - for at least one Rotarian in each Rotary club worldwide to join the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group as an ambassador for Learn Grow.  Are YOU able to meet this call?

That and more is available to you in the July 2012 edition.

Download the July 2012 Newsletter

Trip to Madagascar not included!

Posted on Friday, 8 June 2012 | Permalink


A bilingual (English and French) volunteer is sought to extract information from the food plants database for Madagascar and perhaps support other initiatives involving French speaking countries. We require a document (template and training provided) to be created on local food plants with high nutritional value for sustainable food security in Madagascar.

This task calls for a person who:

  • Is proficient in English and French, especially written communications.
  • Has a background in agronomy or botany.
  • Is conversant with computer applications.
  • Has an orderly mind.
  • Possesses a strong passion for fighting chronic hunger and malnutrition.

If these requirements do not match your skills set, do you know of someone who could be suited to this assignment that we could approach?



Learn Grow work recognised by international funding agency

Posted on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 | Permalink

The Rotary Club of Devonport North is pleased to announce that it has attracted a grant of $US25,000 from the Monsanto Fund to further the development of the Learn Grow project.

Click here to read the full media release.

End Malnutrition Now: The Evergreen Revolution

Posted on Thursday, 17 May 2012 | Permalink

The presentation bearing this title made at the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok on 9 May 2012 was a collaborative effort beween Learn Grow and AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center.

It has sparked much interest and is now available for you to read by clicking here.

Learn Grow Chairman presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 | Permalink

Learn Grow Chairman, Buz Green, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding service of almost 40 years to the horticultural industry.  The accolade was presented at the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence in Hobart, Tasmania on 12 May 2012.

Click here to read the full story, courtesy of The Advocate.

Peracto News features the Learn Grow project as its cover story

Posted on Wednesday, 2 May 2012 | Permalink

The April 2012 edition of Peracto News features the Learn Grow journey so far as its cover story.  It's an inspiring read!

Download the Peracto News here. t to view   to view online 

 You can also view it online at

Newsletter offers latest news

Posted on Thursday, 15 March 2012 | Permalink

The Learn Grow Newsletter for March 2012 provides information on the latest news and developments with the project.

Obtain an update on international forums that Learn Grow and the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group will be attending in April and May.  And get a preview of the dynamic breakout session planned for the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok.

It's all covered in the March 2012 edition.

Download March 2012 Newsletter







Learn Grow included in new edition of An Introduction to Programs of Rotarians Down Under

Posted on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 | Permalink

Learn Grow has been included on page 64 of the latest edition of An Introduction to Programs of Rotarians Down Under.

It was first published in 1995 and this its 5th update.

Click the image below for a pdf version of the Learn Grow page:

Learn Grow Page from Introduction to Rotarian Programs Down Under

2012 Rotary International Convention, Bangkok

Posted on Tuesday, 6 March 2012 | Permalink

The countdown is on to the 2012 Rotary International Convention in May!  In addition to being there with information booths, Learn Grow and the Food Plant Solutions RAG will be hosting a dynamic breakout session.  Full details for your diary are available to download below.

We would welcome hearing from any Rotarian who may be able to assist with the manning of our booths or could video the proceedings of the breakout session.  Please email the Learn Grow team at

Booth flyer

Breakout Session flyer

Learn Grow and Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group represented at Rotary International Assembly in San Diego

Posted on Monday, 30 January 2012 | Permalink

Learn Grow and Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group combined to man a booth at the Projects Fair, as part of Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego, California from 15-21 January 2012.

An annual event, the purpose of the International Assembly is to educate, motivate and inspire district governors-elect to lead Rotarians in their districts.  Through plenary sessions, group discussions and fellowship activities, future governors gain the hands-on information they need for the coming year.

The activities of Learn Grow mesh very well with the Rotary theme of Peace Through Service for 2012-13 announced by Rotary International President-Elect Sakuji Tanaka, at the Assembly.  “Violent conflicts often lead to hunger and reduced food production.  And the reverse is also true.  Hunger and lack of access to essential facilities often lie at the heart of violent conflicts”, Learn Grow Chairman, Buz Green said.  “Drawing on its extensive database of some 24,000 edible plants, Learn Grow seeks to share knowledge about using local food plants with international food aid providers, helping to bring hope to the hungry and malnourished.”

International Assembly offered a great opportunity to share the Learn Grow vision and show district governors-elect from around the world how clubs in their districts can become involved and make a difference.  Strong interest was expressed in the project, with 27 districts signing up to become actively involved and many others collecting literature to become more informed.

Special thanks is extended to our friends in Australia and overseas who most ably manned the display and spread the message.