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The Story Behind #project_avocado

The story behind #project_avocado is, well, still being written, as it unfolds.

According to http://www.veteransandptsd.com,  in 2014, there were an estimated 2.7 million American soldiers, soldiers of the wars in Oraq and Afghanistan, of which at least 20% reported to suffer from PTSD and depression ( which usually go hand in hand, alobg with substance abuse).  There are an estimated 8000 reported veteran suicides a year. 

That’s just in America…

My dear friend, Brandon Shonyo, was one of those statistics on April 30, 2016…

PTSD and depression can trap someone in their darkest realms of their mind. They find life to be bleak, and they can feel helpless, stumbling around the dark bumping into things, cursing their darkness.

My photography teacher and mentor, Korey Rowe, is a current statistic, battling his every day darkness in his head. He trudges on through his darkness, trying to encourage others to be inspired. 

Project Avocado started out as a whim, just to see if I can succeed at growing my 1st acocados, but now, it has more meaning. When I discovered that Korey loves plants and they are a sort of therapy, the inspiration hit me. He will be given the avocados to plant in his yard that he may enjoy for many years. 

I thought that it would be a nice gesture to grow plants for other vets as well, that they may have at least a moment’s break from their darkness.

Korey has inspired me, to reach out to others by way of plants, and to be a light in another’s darkness. I want to raise awareness for veteran PTSD, specifically, and to me, the plants represent a chance for healing and growth. 

I am inspired to do this for our current vets to help them heal, and I’m doing it in memory of my friend, Brandon, so that others will not have to know the pain of losing a loved one to suicide!

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ENTER: #project_avocado

It is a personal game of mine on Instagram, to come up with new hashtags that no one else has ever used. I’m not too sure why I do this, whether it’s an OCD thing or I am just being creative, but at last count a couple months ago, I was in the 40’s of how many I created. (Stay tuned for, “The List” soon! I just got an inspiration!) 

I got the inspiration to try my hand at growing an avocado tree from someone on Instagram, who was attempting to root an avocado, which had sprouted a little after a few weeks (from what she could recall, she said she didn’t track it) I bought a couple of avocados from the local grocery store, since they were on sale (2/$4) and a wee bit past their prime. 

I have found that seeds seem to root faster when already sprouted or close to sprouting inside the fruit. I planted a mango seed last month, and the sproutling will be a month old tomorrow. Another time, over the summer, I planted a pepper sproutling that I had found inside of a pepper just to see of it would grow. It fared decently, untill it hit the bulb of an Easter Lily that I had forgotten about (and also has started rooting it’s thick, white shoots) I wanted my mango tree to have a chance at thriving and being fruitful outdoors. 
After much careful consideration, I have picked the mango tree’s forever home to be in sunny California, rather than the tundra-half-the-year Adirondacks, where she would have zero chance of surviving. 
I have been inspired to start #project_avocado to also send a couple of avocado trees to join the mango, should they survive. I was curious if one of the avocado seeds would root in a wet paper towel like my mango did, and also curious just how long, if, the other seed would root in water. I gently peeled away the fleshy part, being careful not to harm the seed in case it had started a root.

The one on the left has a root starting, so I put that one in the water, and the other, wrapped in wet paper towels and kept in a tied up plastic bag. 
Now…the wait begins.

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Clinging by a Thread


After a 3 month hiatus from blogging, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. It’s been a busy summer, living life going on ventures, tending to my little “jungle” (follow me on Instagram, @junglejennavive and check out my plant ventures!) and working on my photography. 

I took a break from writing my blog, to concentrate on my freelance writing, and earned enough to take Baby Girl and my “Babyson” (who is not so “baby” anymore, being 12 years old!) on vacation to Connecticut to visit my folks. 

The colorful beauty of a spider above, (beauty and spider never being 2 words that I ever have juxtaposed in the same sentence) was in my Mom’s garden. That picture was taken 2 days after we had origionally spotted it, in its full web. It rained, and when we went to look for it, we found it hanging on but a few threads, dinner in mouth. 


Sometimes life rains upon us and we find ourselves clinging onto a few threads. Like the spider clings to its web, we must cling to our threads of life, with the gumption to eat at the same time.