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All Heifer projects strive for sustainability, and that's why we often provide trees of different varieties to families in need. Trees enrich the air with oxygen, help maintain soils and provide fruits and nuts, as well.

Watch this video to see how Heifer's efforts at reforestation and other agroecological methods are promoting soil conservation, erosion control and improved farming in Ecuador.

Fruits and Fodder
Planting trees ensures families have a source of fodder for livestock. Fruit- and nut-bearing trees provide nutritious and fresh foods, and surpluses can increase income.

Better Soil
In many countries where Heifer works, poor families cook on wood-burning stoves. Families must cut down trees to ensure they have enough firewood. Without trees, soil washes away. Tree roots hold together topsoil and help to sustain moisture and nutrients.

Firewood
With many families foraging for firewood in similar areas, sometimes families have to walk miles just to find enough wood to burn so they can cook a meal. When families plant trees, firewood is no lnger scarce and is available in the immediate area.

This holiday season, give the gift of trees in honor of your tree-hugging, vegetarian sister-in-law; and help a community grow food for themselves and their livestock while preventing soil erosion and water loss. And learn more about Heifer's agroecology and agroforestry work by digging into our archives.

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.