The Ancient Olympia Tree Replanting Project

This August, the area surrounding Ancient Olympia, Greece was devastated by fire which damaged or destroyed 450,000 olive trees. The effect is that many farmers have lost their livelihoods, not to mention the environmental damage to the area. In collaboration with the Western Greek Region, The Arete Fund has agreed to initiate a U.S. based fund raising effort to repurchase at least 80,000 olive trees. The purchase will go directly to the tree suppliers, avoiding any government involvement other than managing the purchase and distribution process. 

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The Two Steves perform at Senior and Memory care centers - Steve de Laet and Steve Popell performed 52 volunteer gigs at senior centers in San Mateo and Santa Clara  counties. Steve Popell plays piano, guitar, sings harmony, and tells the stories of the music. Steve de Laet plays guitar and sings. They sing popular music of the 40's, 50's, and 60's which resonates with their audience. 

Caddo Lake Art Retreat - In 2019, we launched what we hope will become an annual retreat for a small group of artists who are willing to work in participation with others in a setting that offers refreshment to the imagination and is conducive to creativity. Caddo Lake is situated on the Texas Louisiana border and is arguably one of the wildest and most beautiful lakes in America. We enjoyed excellent cuisine, explored the lake by boat, and immersed ourselves in the wildness of the wildlife sanctuaries that flank what was formerly a family home and is now, a house that stands among the dogwoods, in the forest, and waits for artists to come!

Ama's Grove organic farming laboratory - 300 olive and fruit trees were planted in 2019 to begin what is envisioned as an organic farm purposed for research and teaching organic techniques to the farming community in the Argolida. This project will be headed up by Tom Pew and Steve de Laet. Tom is the founder of Merlin Organics in Tucson, Arizona. Merlin employs a regenerative, whole-ecosystem approach and a science-driven methodology that includes soil and plant analysis, program design and planning, organic treatment solutions, and monitoring services. The objective is to reduce the amount of pesticides used in the area, improve crop yield, and promoted agricultural sustainability.