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Welcome to Plants For A Future’s Summer Newsletter
1. New Search Functionality
2. Updates: Safe Use of Plants
3. Fundraising: PFAF 2012 Appeal
4. Leaflets in PDF format to download
6. Image Update
7. Your Story
8. Website Tips
New Search Functionality
The Properties Section has now been combined with the Uses Section to allow more complex and useful searches.
The Plants For A Future website has a search page where you can search for plants with various uses and properties. The old search functionality allowed you to search for plants by ‘Uses’ (medicinal, edible or other) OR by ‘Properties’ (type of plant, size, soil required etc). The Properties Section has now been combined with the Uses Section to allow more complex and useful searches. The new search functionality also lets you include ‘Edible and Medicinal Ratings’ and ‘Plant Parts’ in a search.
A video of how to use the new search functionality can be found here
For example, if you wanted: a plant for a hedge (other uses), with a Medicinal Rating of 3,4, or 5, a Medicinal Use of Aromatherapy, with an Edible Use as a Tea, that Attracts Wildlife (Special Use) and is a shrub between 1-2m tall the database search results show Lavandula angustifolia and Rosmarinus officinalis. Magic!
New information on the safe use of plants
We are researching and updating the ‘known hazards’ section on individual plant pages in the database to ensure safe use of plants. Herbal Medicines have the reputation of being gentler, less invasive, and more ‘natural’ than modern prescription medicine. However there can be risks that should be taken into account when using plants. New information includes: precautions, side effects, and information on effects when combined with western medicines.
Fundraising – The PFAF 2012 Appeal
'For over ten years Plants For A Future has been providing a free information service on edible plants and those with medicinal and other useful properties. Since 2009 we have improved the content and presentation of the plants database to bring it into line with the expectations of current internet users. To do this we have employed specialists in plants and in technical aspects of database and website design and development - people who work for us at modest rates of pay because they are committed to what PFAF is doing. This has been paid for using 'windfall' funds obtained when it was decided to sell land originally purchased for an eco-village project, that could no longer be sustained (it became a nature reserve). However, these funds are being rapidly used up, and if we are to continue to improve and extend the database and to make it available free of charge, from now on we really need our users to be more generous with their donations. If every user gave as little as £5 or $10 a year, we'd be able to continue the free information service for many more years to come. Of course, not everyone using the site will feel able to contribute, so please give what you can to keep PFAF going.'
Treasurer and Trustee
Since starting the appeal in November 2011 we’ve raised £3185 ($5094 USD) which is 17.7% of our target £18,000 (approx $28,000 USD). All donations to the charity for next year will be for: a part-time person for plant research, administration, website development/maintenance; Technical improvements to the website; Website costs including hosting and domain names.
The payment methods should allow you to be able to pay in any currency if you would like to financially contribute to PFAF: Donate Page.
PFAF has a JustGiving account so if you would like to help us through a sponsored event (for example a sponsored run) you can sign up at: http://www.justgiving.com/pfaf
It’s easy (and completely free) to set up a fundraising page for Plants For A Future on JustGiving. It only takes 60 seconds to get up and running. For more information please visit http://www.justgiving.com/about-us/how-it-works/for-fundraisers
A huge thank you for all the recent very generous donations.
Leaflets in PDF format
We have designed a number of leaflets, based on our web pages that can be viewed off line. The leaflets will be available for downloading soon from the website. Some leaflets are already available on Twitter and Facebook.
PFAF have now finally started to twitter! Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". Jack Dorsey the creator of Twitter on looking for a name was quoted saying;
"...we came across the word 'twitter', and it was just perfect. The definition was 'a short burst of inconsequential information,' and 'chirps from birds'. And that's exactly what the product was."
You can follow our Plants For A Future tweets at: http://twitter.com/#!/PFAF_Tweets
We’ve completed sourcing and adding available images to plants in the plant database (7422 plants on the last count) with over 12000 images added. If you have plant images that are missing from the database please send them to email@example.com
Adding Images to web pages
Images have been added to most of the 60 information web pages. We aim to complete this task next month.
Links page improved
The links page has been improved by adding a drop-down navigation system Link Page.
What’s happening on Facebook & Twitter
Every week on Facebook and Twitter we have a Plant Of The Week and Page of the week. We also include other current information on PFAF. You can follow us at the links below. You can also view our Facebook and Twitter updates at website news
In the Autumn 2011 Newsletter we asked you to send us your stories about what you're doing and how PFAF has helped you. You can now find a few of your replies on the website here. If you would like to contribute a story please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Richard, living in the Pyrenees, says he finds the PFAF web-site 'utterly invaluable'. He has a small-holding two and a half thousand feet up, where the winters are very cold, and the summers very hot, and has gradually been shifting from annual to perennial crops over the last couple of years.
As he buys more perennials, the PFAF data-base is his first port of call for every plant, and he finds it the best source of information of any. Last year he had the best yield ever from his annual crops too, since he is developing more permaculture techniques of extensive mulching, little digging and much less watering.
A cheering story for all who are turning to permaculture and perennial growing!'
Your Story page
If you still can’t find what you are looking for using the search page try using the Google Custom Search: a Google search page that searches the PFAF website.
You can also view a video of how to use the Google Search here
If you would like to save a copy of the information you are looking at on the website click on the Download PDF button on the top left of each page.
Plants For A Future
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'. With the 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.