We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

homebanner

What is PFAF?

Recommended this month

Permaculture News: Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN) and Free Research Handbook

Research is one of the five key areas of the UK Permaculture Association's work. All aspects of the Association's research share two key aims; building a strong evidence base for permaculture and improving permaculture practice. Recently the Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN) has was launched. You can download the free Research Handbook here. The Handbook is aimed at those with some knowledge of permaculture but no research background who want to undertake a permaculture research project, whether as diploma apprentices, undergraduates, volunteers at our office, or just for fun.

 

Plantes Comestibles

New Book ** Plantes Comestibles: Le guide pour vous inspirer a choisir et cultiver des plantes comestibles hors du commun [Paperback]

Edible Plants: French Translation. La traduction française du livre Plantes comestibles (Edible Plants) est maintenant disponible! Partagez ce lien avec vos amis.

 More >>

 

Plants For A Future: A resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Plants For A Future (PFAF) is a charitable company, originally set up to support the work of Ken and Addy Fern on their experimental site in Cornwall, where they carried out research and provided information on edible and otherwise useful plants suitable for growing outdoors in a temperate climate. Over time they planted 1500 species of edible plants on 'The Field' in Cornwall, which was their base since 1989. Over ten years ago, Ken began compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants.
For more information on the work carried out by the Ferns, see: The History of Plants For A Future

 

Plants For A Future: 20 years on

The trustees of PFAF, in recognition of the work of the Ferns, and for information about what they achieved, commissioned a detailed mapping and ecological Survey of The Field. The Survey Report is available for anyone who is interested. We have also employed professional website developers to redesign the website and improve the content of the database, work on which is ongoing. We share in, and continue to support, the aims of the founders.


The main aims of the charity are researching and providing information on ecologically sustainable horticulture, promoting a high diversity, holistic and permacultural approach namely 'woodland gardening'. We aim to use a minimal input of resources and energy, create a harmonious eco-system and cause the least possible damage to the environment whilst achieving high productivity.

 

The Plants for a Future Concept

It is our belief that plants can provide people with the majority of their needs, in a way that cares for the planet's health. A wide range of plants can be grown to produce all our food needs and many other commodities, whilst also providing a diversity of habitats for our native flora and fauna.

There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food. Large areas of land devoted to single crops increase dependence upon intervention of chemicals and intensive control methods with the added threat of chemical resistant insects and new diseases. The changing world climate greatly affecting cultivation indicates a greater diversity is needed.

more

 

New Book: Woodland Gardening

Designing a low-maintenance, sustainable edible woodland garden with fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables

It is possible to plan out a woodland garden in a space as small as a backyard or as large as a few acres, using the guidelines that nature has shown us, but using species that can provide us with fruits, seeds, leaves, roots and flowers that are delicious and highly nutritious. When well designed, such a system can:

»» be far more productive than a field of annuals
»» produce a much wider range of foods
»» require far less work
»» require far less inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides
»» provide valuable habitats for wildlife
»» be very pleasing aesthetically....more

 

What's here

LATEST NEWS

For our latest news click here

DATABASE

Plant Search

Search for over 7000 edible and medicinal plants using a number of search criteria including: common and Latin names, keyword, family, habitat and use (medicinal, edible or other). Search Now

You can do a more detailed search using the Search Properties section. This allows you to search for a number of plant features at once. For example you might want to search for a plant that needs light sandy soil, that is between 1m and 5m high and that likes shade. The database search will find plants that have all 3 of these features.more

 
PLANT USES

The Plant Uses section gives a wide variety of uses for plants including their medicinal and edible qualities as well as other uses for example, building materials, dyes, paints, inks and paper or clothing. In many cases this information is supported by the database with direct links to relevant plants. Plant Uses

In this section you can also find the web page 'Top 20 Plants'. This page includes some of our favourite plants that we feel are so good they deserve an article all to themselves for example, Allium, Cornus and Viola. The page also has top rated plants for edibility and medicinal uses. The plants are rated by use, through our research and experience, and all have either a top rating of 5 apples for edibility or 5 hearts for medicinal use.

Additional pages include Woodland Gardening, Vegan Organics, Perennial Plants, and Habitats.more

Translations

 
RESEARCH
Information on the work at our 28 acre piece of land in Cornwall that was purchased as a place to demonstrate the many uses of plants with a very strong emphasis on perennial species. It is run by a small group of volunteers.more

Search: Plants For A Future Page Content

Apart from the 7000+ plant pages we have over 200 content pages with information on everything from woodland gardens to seed saving. You can search the Plants For A Future Page Content by using the search here

General Disclaimer

To the best of our knowledge all the information contained herein is accurate and true.

However we cannot guarantee that everyone will react positively to all edible plants or other plant uses.

It is commonly known that many people suffer allergic reactions to conventional foods and products. Even amongst the more commonly eaten fruits, for example, there are plenty of instances where people react badly to them:

  • Many people are allergic to strawberries and will come out in a rash if they eat them.
  • Some people develop a rash if they touch the stems of parsnips.
  • Potatoes become poisonous if they turn green.
  • Eating large quantities of cabbage can adversely affect the thyroid gland.

In general, we believe that the overall health of people will be greatly improved by bringing more diversity into their diet and through using more natural products.

We strongly recommend the following preventative precautions when trying anything new:

  • Make sure you have identified the plant correctly
  • Try a small taste of anything new in your diet. If there are no side effects increase the quantity at the next meal.
  • When trying new soaps or skin applications try them on a very small area before proceeding to larger areas of the body. Look for any uncomfortable reactions or changes and if there is do not proceed with further application.

No liability exists against Plants for a Future or any member of Plants for a Future, nor can they be held responsible for any allergy, illness or injurious effect that any person or animal may suffer as a result of information in this catalogue or through using any of the plants mentioned by Plants for a Future.

Plant of the week

Plant of the week

Cornus alba / Tartarian Dogwood

Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Edible Books Plants For A Future

Amazing Plant Fact

Monotropa uniflora, also known as the Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant is white, and often thought of as a fungus, but is actually a flowering plant from the blueberry family (Ericaceae). It does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of Asia, North America and northern South America. It is generally scarce or rare in occurrence but is common or even ubiquitous in some areas, such as many parts of eastern North America.

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress, challenges and hopes by signing up for our free email newsletter. You will receive a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information & functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address. You can unsubscribe at anytime.

Latest Forum

Aloe vera

The bitterness of the aloe leaf is only in the thin layer of s...

Alternative Edible Leaves
Re: question of Liliane Stern (Thu Jul 2 2009). The Egyptian lea...

Rosa glauca
Any rose can be used for making rose hip jam - some are better th...

Rosa rugosa
Every country hedge that gets trimmed by vicious strimmers should...

Amaranthus dubius
Thank you for (more) interesting information on this - one of sev...

Support Us

Your support as a volunteer or donor allows us to continue our work and is very important to us. Ways you can help to support our valuable work..Read More