We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

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 Here we all are!



Chris Marsh 

As a lifelong socialist, pacifist, environmentalist and atheist, for many years, I engaged in conventional ‘reformist’ activism in parallel with a career in information systems, before being radicalised on all counts in the early 1980s. I joined a pacifist revolutionary socialist party and carried out independent research and speaking on worldwide land degradation. I discovered permaculture in 1990, was a consultant editor for Permaculture Magazine for over ten years, and a trustee of the Permaculture Association for several years. I have been a trustee-director of Plants for A Future since 2005. I was awarded a PhD by Exeter University in January 2014 for my research on the radical world change guru and Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore.


George Sobol

George Sobol is an experienced trainer and facilitator who has been organising and teaching permaculture courses since 1989.

After growing up in a Russian-speaking family, I completed a Russian degree at Manchester University in 1973. Moving to Bristol, I trained as a cabinet maker and had a key role in the establishment of Bristol Craft Centre – co-operatively run community workshops. Connections with the Dartington Hall Trust led to a move to Devon in 1983 [where I worked as a designer for their furniture and joinery manufacturing company].

Twenty-plus years’ work in permaculture design and teaching started in 1989. After completing a Permaculture Design Course with Andy Langford, I took on the role of co-ordinator for the Permaculture Association [Britain] for the next four years.

In 1994 my partner, Patsy Garrard, and I launched the Permaculture Education Project. The focus has been the development and delivery of permaculture training and permaculture teacher training programmes in Central and Eastern Europe and England to promote the establishment of permaculture networks and teaching teams. In 2011 a PCDC in Ukraine was the start another such programme.

Permaculture has allowed me to merge my various passions, skills and concerns inspired by my Home – this living planet with its endless diversity of systems, species, cultures and challenges – and the infinite opportunities for learning with and from others.

I continue to teach locally, nationally and internationally by invitation.

I have been a trustee of Plants For a Future since 2009.


Wendy Stayte

I am a retired doctor who has turned to planting trees, organising community tree planting and food-growing projects in the last 10 years, thus fulfilling a long-cherished dream and being part of the world-wide move to live our lives and resource ourselves more locally. Finding a way of feeding ourselves without eating meat and within diverse perennial growing systems, as far as this is possible on our over-crowded island, is why I am part of the PFAF Trustee team.


Ed Sears

For over twenty years, I have been pursuing an interest in living systems and sustainable land use. My initial inspirations were Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who developed permaculture, and James Lovelock, originator of Gaia theory, now more widely known as Earth system science. It was apparent to me then, that biodiversity loss and climate change are the most significant environmental challenges because of their potential to change the Earth system over geological timescales.

I have qualifications in amenity horticulture, organic farming and permaculture, as well as years of practical experience working with plants and the land. In 2008, I completed a BSc in Earth System Science at University of Derby, and in 2010, an MSc in Climate Change at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA. My projects were on sequestering carbon in Derbyshire agricultural soils, and lifecycle analysis of biochar from the BIOMASS CHP gasification plant at UEA. I am currently an Honorary Research Assistant in the Earth System Science group at the University of Exeter, developing a published evidence base for permaculture.

Nowadays, I work for T4 Sustainability Ltd as a renewable energy and sustainability consultant, mainly designing PV systems, and I am a trustee of the Permaculture Association, where I chair the Research Advisory Board, and also a trustee here at Plants For A Future. I have spoken publicly on permaculture, climate change, climate politics, the CRU email hack, biochar and participatory research strategies. I contribute to the Claverton energy industry discussion group, and have written short media articles and book reviews.


Paul Harding


I have a background in electrical and electronic engineering and currently work in energy management at one of the UK's regional water companies. I have been involved in renewable energy projects across hydro, CHP, wind and most recently solar technologies and I jointly developed an innovative pump tester that automatically calculated an efficiency rating for plant operating in waste water applications.

Over the last few years I've moved into database design with a particular interest in how information can be accessed in novel ways over the internet; most recently on the PFAF website with our publication of a QR code for each plant's page.

I've been vegan for the last 20 years – initially from an animal rights perspective although latterly more for resource management reasons.







Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

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