History of Learn◊Grow

Tasmanian agricultural scientist, Bruce French, has spent 30 years on a voluntary mission to document information on the food plants of the world.  This achievement is underpinned by Bruce’s work in developing countries, including Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Bruce has established a plain English database of some 19,000 edible plants.  The database contains descriptions, countries and climatic zones of the plants’ origins, photos and drawings of entire plants and edible parts, and cooking methods.

The database includes nutritional information on each plant.  The information in the food plants database can be reproduced in a number of formats including CD, DVD, books and PowerPoint presentations.

Rotarian Buz Green, of the Rotary Club of Devonport North in Tasmania (D9830), recognised the potential of the food plants database in the war against malnutrition.  He organised a relationship between the organisation behind the food plants database, Food Plants International, and Rotary to establish the Learn◊Grow project.  Learn◊Grow was formally established as the project vehicle in June 2007.

Since June 2007, Buz Green and Bruce French, with the support of the Learn◊Grow committee, Rotary and other volunteers, have transformed Learn◊Grow from a concept into a dynamic international project that has come to the attention of Rotary and organisations tackling malnutrition around the world.