We depend on donations from users of our database of over 8000 edible and useful plants to keep making it available free of charge and to further extend and improve it. In recent months donations are down, and we are spending more than we receive. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

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About the PFAF Food Forest Fund


Plants For A Future (PFAF) provides a free-to-use online database with detailed, codified information on over 8,000 plants, mainly perennials, with edible, medicinal and other uses. The information is progressively enhanced and refined though our own expertise and research, and information from our users. A sophisticated search facility is provided on our website to enable selection of sets of plants to meet combinations of criteria, including properties and uses, food forests/ forest gardens, carbon farming applications, and growing conditions. We also sell several illustrated reference books with different themes based on this detailed plants information.

Currently PFAF is particularly interested in how our database, search facilities and publications can be of use to designers of food forests, a form of vegan-organic polyculture which produces food and draws down carbon at the same time. We have enhanced our plants information and our database analysis functions to support such usage.

PFAF is a UK-based charitable company, but users of our database are from all over the world. We are not a rich, well-endowed charity, and manage to achieve a lot with little money. We sell our books and get some revenue from advertising on our site, but the majority of our income comes from donations from our users. Most of our costs are concerned with paying for specialist help with database and website design, development and ongoing support, and research on plants of interest.

For many years we have barely broken even, but recently we have managed better and have created a small capital reserve of funds which we would like to put to good use. This has coincided with the offer of additional funds from a benefactor prepared to make personal donations to support our efforts to help food forest projects get started. This has enabled us to launch the PFAF Food Forest Fund, which is available to make small grants to help new food forest projects get started. We expect to be awarding grants of between 1000 and 3000 GBP, or the equivalent in other currencies.

Food forests and complementary locally-based enterprises could be an important element in starting to bring about the widespread changes in lifestyle now urgently needed to confront the global ecological crisis. We need to move away from globalised commerce, damaging intensive industrialised agriculture, switch from meat and dairy to plant-based foods, and encourage local communities and businesses that support the common good. Getting involved with a food forest project is one way to be part of the fight-back against the global emergency that cannot be ignored any longer.

In order to be considered for a grant a project should have most of the elements of what is generally considered to be a Food Forest:


  •   a planned ecosystem modelled on natural processes, with the aim of growing food and sequestering carbon at the same time, on a site with secure tenure;
  • the project should be designed to meet the needs and aspirations of those working on it or relying on it;
  • it should include plants of various sizes and with various attributes, occupying different layers in the design: typically a canopy layer, shrub layer, herb layer and climbers;
  • the majority of the plants will be perennials, and all will be food producing, and/or will sequester carbon in their woody parts or in the soil, and will have useful functions within the ecosystem.


To be considered for a grant you need to provide us with some form of project plan for discussion, and be clear why start-up funding is needed and what it will be used for. We want to make the process as straightforward as possible, but we may then ask you for further information, which may include your other sources of funds and proof that the project is genuine.


In return for providing a grant, PFAF will expect some feedback and engagement from you. This would ideally include a short article for our website or Facebook page describing the project, and later one or more status reports as the project progresses, with photos and site plans where available. This shouldn’t be too time-consuming, and should help to publicise the good work you are doing.


Do get in touch if you are planning or starting a project that you think will qualify for one of our grants. Please email Chris Marsh at [email protected] and/or George Sobol at [email protected]



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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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© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.