Taking Root Project Updates

Taking Root takes it all the way to prime time television!

We are very excited to announce that on Sunday, April 23rd at 7pm Taking Root was featured in a 20-minute segment of a new CBC series We Are Canada, produced by Ken Dryden in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The six-part series follows a dozen young Canadian leaders whose work is shaping and defining the future of Canada in inspiring and imaginative ways.

Watch the episode here.

Below, Kahlil discusses the experience of filming the segment and nerves leading up to the documentary.


Last fall, I had the amazing opportunity to host an all-star group visit to Taking Root’s programs in Nicaragua. The group included my PhD supervisor from UBC, Gary Bull – the owner of the most progressive and sustainable forest company in Canada; Peter Schleifenbaum of Haliburton Forest; along with Jim Tai and Sean King from Beyond Bread – a great, local café, bakery and store now selling Taking Root’s wood products.

I was really excited that world experts in forestry were willing to travel so far just to see the work that we are doing, but also really nervous because I was scared that they would find a million things wrong with the way we do things (which they didn’t).

To make things even more nerve racking, a production company heard about what we were doing and asked to come along for the adventure. Not only did they want to film us, they told me they wanted to broadcast what they filmed all over prime time national television. Nerves were at an ultimate high, but having the opportunity of sharing Taking Root’s impact with millions of people was something I couldn’t say no to.

In late October 2016, my all-star group and a five-person film crew flew to Nicaragua for a week of touring, experiencing and learning about everything that Taking Root has been working on for the past 9 years. We have individual forests that we planted each year since we started so it felt like traveling back through time as we visited the youngest to the oldest trees.

The Taking Root team in Nicaraguan was amazing – they introduced everyone to local traditions and we shared several meals with farmers in their homes. A lot of different farmers from the program were also excited to be on TV – hopefully they don’t quit their jobs now and move to Hollywood.

Throughout the trip, I got to show everyone the technology that we invented to manage Taking Root’s agroforestry programs. Everyone seemed really impressed that we had so many different farmers using the highest scientific management standards – I’m starting to think that we’re really onto something ☺

As a final stop in for the trip, we visited the wood shop where we have started making serving boards and other woodcrafts from trees harvested in our plantations. This was a very important step for Taking Root, and it was significant to share this with everyone on the trip as it represents the full loop of Taking Root’s programs, and expands the reach even further. Everyone was supportive, appreciated this step and wanted to help open up markets for the products that we are making.

All and all, things went really well, everyone had a great time and the film crew said they got the footage they needed. Hopefully, I didn’t say anything too stupid, or blab on for too long, but we will find out soon! I will be viewing the show for the first time at the same time as everyone else.

We are very excited (and maybe a little nervous) to watch the episode. Make sure you tune in to CBC TV network across Canada Sunday, April 23rd at 7:00pm local time for the CBC series We Are Canada!

You can view the trailer for the series here and the full episode here.



Kahlil Baker

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