November 3, 2017

Incredible Inga

An ice cream-tasting, nitrogen-fixing, 
nutrient-recycling, weed-controlling,
soil-restoring, livelihood-generating,

 Sound interesting? That’s why Cool Earth set out to investigate further.

‘Slash and burn’, practised by millions living by forests, is an unsustainable, destructive, dangerous and inefficient method of deforestation and land cultivation. Patches of trees are cut down and burned to create a clear area for farming, a process that is not sustainable. As soon as the land has been cleared, the bare, thin soil is rapidly leached of nutrients essential for growth. An area of slash and burn ground can only be used for successful crop growth for a maximum of 2-3 years before it is abandoned, and the process has to begin again in another part of pristine rainforest.


That’s where the inga plant comes in.


The inga tree provides shade, fixes nitrogen into the soil, deters weed growth and, over time, restores degraded soils. Optimum growing conditions are created using alleys of inga trees, where various crops like maize, banana and turmeric to cacao, peanuts and black pepper thrive. Known as the ‘Plant of Gold’, black pepper is in such high demand on both the national and international level that it is proving highly profitable to communities growing it alongside inga.

Incredible Inga


This year, Cool Earth sponsored Marin and Felix, of the Peru Team, to visit the Inga Foundation based in Honduras. They returned enthused and full of knowledge to support and share their newly learned skills with the community. Now 25 families are using inga, adding nutrients to their soils and diversifying crops.



Cool Earth are keen – as a bean – to share the results of the next season’s harvest with you.

Incredible Inga
‘A groundbreaking way to stop vast areas of rainforest from being destroyed’

The Ecologist

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