What is PFAF?
Recommended this month
New Book ** Edible Trees: A practical and inspirational guide from Plants For A Future on how to grow and harvest trees with edible and other useful produce. [Paperback]
In this book we describe 50 of our favourite edible trees, each one illustrated and arranged alphabetically by common name. Complementing the images is a physical description of each species, and information on their origin, growth-habit, preferred hardiness zone, edible and medicinal ratings, known hazards, weed potential, propagation, care and cultivation. 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.
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