Big Ideas
The Single Most Beautiful Innovation At TEDxManhattan
Tree of 40 Fruits by Sam Van Aken
Photo © Sam Van Aken

Last weekend's TEDxManhattan conference covered important and innovative ideas on how to improve the food system and change the way the world eats. It also featured some amazing works of art, such as this tree. It may look like something straight out of an anime movie, as one Food & Wine fan exclaimed on Twitter, but it's the real-world work of artist Sam Van Aken. And there is not a speck of paint sullying a single leaf. Van Aken calls the piece the Tree of 40 Fruits; he has produced several of them by grafting a variety of different branches to individual stone fruit trees. Each tree takes years to cultivate and, as you can see, when one blooms the result is breathtaking. The best part is that you can actually eat from them. Every year, the trees produce peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries and soon, if Van Aken's latest experiment goes as planned—almonds. For more on the Tree of 40 Fruits, check out his TedX talk. If you want to see more of Van Aken's work, you can find it here.

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