PFAF Projects

Plants For A Future (PFAF) is a charitable company established nearly 30 years ago to support the work of Ken Fern on his experimental site in Cornwall. Ten years ago a group of new trustees took over its management and since then PFAF has focussed on maintaining and further developing the online plants database originally created by Ken Fern. This now provides detailed information on 7,700 useful plants, and has become a vital resource for plants enthusiasts and designers of polycultures and forest gardens around the world.

From time to time PFAF has special Projects, often the subject of our Annual Appeals. This has enabled us to publish Books, carry out research into Tropical plants and during 2017 we began a research project involving Visits.


Edible Plants: An inspirational guide to choosing and growing unusual edible plants (2012)

Plantes Comestibles: French translation of Edible Plants (2012)

Woodland Gardening: Designing a low-maintenance, sustainable edible woodland garden with fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables (2013)

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. (2013)

Edible Perennials: 50 Top perennials from Plants For A Future (2015).

These are all available from our Shop:

In 2018 we are planning a new book: Edible Shrubs.

Tropical Plants

During 2016 and 2017 we have been adding to our database 700 new tropical plants. This was one of the first new plants:  – note the 3 apples and 3 hearts for edible and medicinal uses, and 5 tools symbols for other uses. Obviously an important plant! You can find plants by searching in the USDA Hardiness zones 10 to 12 or the PFAF Hardiness scale of 10.



In 2017, two PFAF trustees who live in Devon had the idea of making co-operative links with people in the South West growing unusual plants, particularly perennials, in innovative ways. So far we have visited 4 sites and we wrote up the visits as photo essays., , and .

We found this project tremendously inspiring so we would love to hear from more sites we could visit.

Other Projects

Ideas for other Projects connected to the work of PFAF will be very welcome.