Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 16, 2012.

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A botanist obsessed with tropical fruits travels the world to produce a magisterial book on the subject.

Tropical Fruits of the World

The upcoming Tropical Fruits of the World, a work in progress from author Rolf Blancke, will be published by Zona Tropical Publications in the middle part of 2013. With popular interest in tropical fruits on the rise—and few thorough publications on the subject currently available—this promises to be the book that many people have asked for. 

Covering some 330 species from around the world, it will include lush photographs (also by Blancke) of fruits, flowers, and leaves; range maps; illustrations portraying plant-pollinator relationships and other natural history stories; and a wealth of facts for the general reader, including: Information about the geographic origin of the species, the regions of the world where the fruit is cultivated today, a botanical description of the fruit to enable the reader to identify it in the wild or in markets, the uses of the fruit in human culture—both in modern and ancient cultures—whether as food, medicine, or material, and fascinating natural history information about such things as the animals that pollinate the fruit. People are often unaware, for example, that many more animals—including bats and other mammals—play a role in pollination in the tropics than in temperate regions of the world. 

Hylocereus undatus (Red Pitaya/Dragonfruit)
Hylocereus undatus (Red Pitaya/Dragonfruit)
Theobroma cacao (Cacao/Cocoa)
Theobroma cacao (Cacao/Cocoa)

Project Schedule

On trips throughout Costa Rica—where farms and research stations contain fruits from around the world—and to several other countries in Latin America, Blancke has collected a little more than half of the photographs needed for the book; his plan is to take all missing photographs by the end of 2012. He has written a first draft of species descriptions for all species in the book and is currently preparing range maps that depict the world distribution for each species. In September of this year, scientific illustrator Natalia Wilkins will begin painting some 30 natural history illustrations that show a variety of interesting supplementary information about selected species. Editing of all text should be finished by the end of this year; the project will be handed over to book designers at the start of 2013. If all goes according to schedule, print-ready PDFs will be shipped to the printer in March 2013.

Plukenetia volubilis (Sacha Inchi)
Plukenetia volubilis (Sacha Inchi)
Elaeis oleifera (American Oil Palm)
Elaeis oleifera (American Oil Palm)

About the Publisher

 Started in 1996 in San Jose, Costa Rica, Zona Tropical Publications (www.zonatropical.net) has published 18 books to date, and is at work on another 14 titles, along with ebook and app projects. The titles published so far include several field guides, among them The Birds of Costa Rica and Tropical Plants of Costa Rica (both co-published with Cornell University Press), and photography books, including a title about the Osa Peninsula by award winning photographer Roy Toft and Princeton University biologist Trond Larsen. Zona Tropical Publications is owned by U.S. citizens John K. McCuen and Marc Roegiers.

A few titles from Zona Tropical Publications
A few titles from Zona Tropical Publications

Why Kickstarter?:

In order to collect photos for as many fruit species as possible, Blancke will need to travel to countries far and wide. His trip to Asia has an itinerary of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and, possibly, Indonesia. And there are also plans for a number of trips within the Americas, including definite stops in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and Honduras, and possible visits to Miami and other locations. If the Kickstarter project is successful, funds will be used to help subsidize the cost of travel. 

REWARDS:

Tropical Fruits postcards
Tropical Fruits postcards
Tropical Fruits of the World poster 19.38" X 29" ( W x H )
Tropical Fruits of the World poster 19.38" X 29" ( W x H )

Please note that, in the case of rewards that offer more than a single deliverable, the estimated delivery date indicates the date on which the last of the rewards would be sent. For example, for those rewards that include a copy of the book along with other deliverables, the book itself would be the last reward to be sent, while the postcards and posters (and emails, of course) would be sent to the recipient much earlier.

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    Receive email updates (with occasional photos) on project travels and news. Learn about our successes and tribulations. Taste (vicariously) fruits sweet and bitter, unripe and mushy.

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    Receive a set of eight luscious tropical fruits postcards plus email updates.

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    Receive a Tropical Fruits of the World poster plus email updates. Includes shipping within the US. Please add $5 for international shipping.

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    Receive a Tropical Fruits of the World poster plus postcard set plus email updates. Includes shipping within the US. Please add $5 for international shipping.

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    Receive a copy of our book plus email updates. Includes shipping within the US. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    Receive a copy of our book along with the poster, tropical fruits postcards, and email updates. Includes shipping within the US. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    Have your name listed in our book on the credits page, plus receive email updates.

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    5 backers

    Have your name listed in our book on the credits page, plus receive a copy of our book along with the poster, tropical fruits postcards, and email updates. Includes shipping within the US. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    On your next trip to Costa Rica, spend a full day with author Rolf Blancke in and about the lovely Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, where Rolf will point out the area’s bountiful flora and fauna. Includes public transportation to and from Puerto Viejo and lunch and dinner. You also get your name listed in our book on the credits page, plus a copy of the book along with the poster, postcard set, and email updates. Please contact us to arrange a suitable date.

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    We’ll fly you to Costa Rica for a 10-day tropical fruit tour. Author Rolf Blancke will be your guide throughout your time here. On your first night in San Jose, the editorial staff at Zona Tropical Publications will be your hosts for dinner. Lodging is included. Plus, we will list your name in our book on the credits page and give you a copy of the book, poster, and tropical fruits postcards—along with email updates. Please contact us to arrange a suitable date.

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Funding period

- (30 days)