Tropical botanist kickstarts campaign for book on fruit

August 24, 2012

From the print edition

Stacey Auch |  Special to The Tico Times

Rolf Blancke wants to tell you all there is to know about tropical fruit. The Puerto Viejo resident has enjoyed a career in tropical botany for the past 20 years, which he now hopes to culminate with a book on fruit, complete with photos, field guides, maps and info on medicinal and nutritional properties.

His plan is to travel throug Asian and Latin America for the research, but he can’t do that without a little help. “We need continued support, especially from residents of Costa Rica, to reach our end goal,” Blancke said. 

Blancke is collaborating with Zona Tropical Publications, which has published 18 books including “The Birds of Costa Rica” and “Tropical Plants of Cost Rica” (both co-published with Cornell University Press) on a 30-day campaign on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com. The goal is to raise $7,500 for photography equipment and research in Asia, Latin America and Miami.  

Donors may contribute $5 and up, and in return, receive gifts like fruit post cards, a tropical fruits of the world poster, credit in the book, a copy of the book, trips to Costa Rica and more. If funding goals are met, the book will be released in early 2013.

Already there has been some buzz around the project, and Blancke raised more than a quarter of the total funds needed in the first three days of the campaign. “We’re happy with the results so far,” he said. “So many expats here fall in love with these fruits, and this is their chance to share with friends and family back home.” 

Blancke’s research illustrates the role of fruit in our daily diet, and more importantly, the importance of tropical forest conservation. “With a better knowledge of fruits, we might get more creative in the kitchen, trying new varieties and improving our diets, and having more environmental concern for the tropical forests,” Blancke said.

Blanke’s full project can be viewed at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/584232123/tropical-fruits-of-the-world?ref=live

You may be interested

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King
Weekend Arts Spotlight
108 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
108 views

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King

Elizabeth Lang - May 20, 2018

Suzahn King's paintings, known for their intricate details, are currently focused on her surroundings in Costa Rica, a country she…

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind
Artists
275 views
Artists
275 views

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind

Elizabeth Lang - May 18, 2018

This is the story of Nicaraguan-based French artist Jean Marc Calvet: a man whose complex life, obscurities and misfortunes overwhelmed…

Traditional masks
Tico Times Pic of the Day
290 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
290 views

Traditional masks

The Tico Times - May 18, 2018

Creating masks out of balsa wood, carved by their own hands and based on the their community's traditions, the Brunca…