Bonsai started when Quincy Burgess was in Israel and returning to Bermuda in 2006. The goal at that time was to provide homeowners with a variety of fruit trees that could be productive in Bermuda’s climate as well as cope with the environmental constraints of salt, wind, poor soil in many parts, as well as an expanding construction industry phasing out many open spaces and home yards.
It was in 2010 that Quincy moved with his family to Nairobi, Kenya to expand these ideas.
Bonsai started as a concept in 2007. The idea was that a number of specific fruit trees could be dwarfed and cultured to produce fruit in confined spaces, and at confined heights. The purpose was to create trees that were very manageable, lower fruiting, and avoiding damage from strong winds in hurricanes. We focussed on introduction of new varieties of fruit in Bermuda and producing fruit in Bermuda’s climate. In 2009 we integrated beekeeping into our portfolio and integrated this knowledge into the importance of fruit culture in pollination.
In 2011 Bonsai branched out into work in Kenya, South Sudan and Zambia. We specifically focus on using a model of poverty reduction that involves a number of diverse perennial trees, education and long term food security in communities where infrastructure is ripe for seeing this change. In 2012 it became evident that poverty reduction included the global market, and the idea of “trade not aid” was a massive part of realizing food security. Now after 5 years with experience in Israel, and Bermuda we are actively ensuring that poverty, malnutrition and long term food security is solved by innovation through fruit culture – welcome.