Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Number 1 Go-To Permaculture Forest Gardening Resource: Plants for a Future

What is it?

"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." The charity's web site contains a database of 7000+ rarely utilized plants categorized by edible, medicinal and other uses, 200+ articles, and community discussion forum.

Leave It Better Than You Found It
The Plants for a Future site and database was compiled/grown/given freely by Ken Fern so that others may spend their time enjoying, rather than working in, their own gardens. "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."

Why is PFAF the first site I visit?
Because it helps me answer my initial questions...
How tasty is it? What part(s) are edible? Is it a good medicinal, and why? What part(s) are medicinal? What zones will it grow in? What is it's growth habit? How much shade will it tolerate? What pollination needs does it have? Does it have any close relatives that might be a better fit for what I'm looking for? What are the basic cultivation needs? What does it look like?

I've also noticed that most plants have conflicting information from various sources, but Ken's observations tend to be much more accurate.