Plants For A Future
Plants For A Future is a small environmental group run entirely by volunteers. It was established in 1989 when a 28-acre piece of land in Cornwall was purchased as a place to demonstrate the many uses of plants, with a strong emphasis on perennial species.
When we first moved to Cornwall in 1989, our land looked like this.
Now it looks like this.
Our efforts have turned it from a bleak, windswept field of barley stubble, which had thin, compacted soils and very little wildlife, into this beautiful productive, sheltered, tree-covered landscape that is of enormous benefit both for humans and the wildlife we share this land with.
Hardly a day goes by when we do not hear another story about global warming, melting of the icecaps, deforestation, species in danger of extinction, and how the negative environmental impact of human activity is contributing to this.
Our project promotes a way of growing food and other commodities in a way that actually enhances the environment. We see a future where farms are no longer large open spaces of grass or other annual crops with very little wildlife. Instead many different and productive perennial species will be grown. Farms of the future will have large areas of productive, food-producing woodland that will be able to feed us and also support the many other species we share this world with.
Our Land has various purposes:
- It serves to demonstrate self-sufficiency from a very wide range of trees and other perennials.
- It is an Educational Centre where people can come and learn about the plants and how to grow them.
- It is a Nature Reserve, teeming with insect life, birds, amphibians and various mammals.
- It is a place where people can come and enjoy contact with Nature.
Central to our ethos is our desire both to acquire information about useful plants and to make this information available as freely as possible to all who can benefit from it. We want to spread the word to as many people as possible that there are harmonious ways of living, and of growing our food, where we try to work with instead of against Nature.
People visit our project from all over the world in order to experience and learn from the land. Many of them stay for a short time as volunteers so that they can deepen their understanding of perennial gardening. The inspiration and information they take with them often enables them to set up their own project.
We try to spread this knowledge as far as we can and, to that end, we have developed two databases of useful plants, one for the temperate zone and one for the tropics. All the information contained within them is made freely available through our website (see www.theferns.info). Currently (November 2018), there are 20,045 plant entries in these databases.
- Video made by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check his plantcards here https://permaplay.jimdo.com/eng/
Most people who visit us are amazed at the way our land has been transformed. We show them how they can do this for themselves, on a scale that can range from a small garden to a large farm. We want to be able to spread this message even further, to empower even more people to begin to make these changes for themselves, and to see more and more woodland gardens being created.
Our work and ability to reach out to people is greatly limited by the lack of facilities we have here. As many of our visitors will attest, facilities here have always been rather primitive.
The only building we have on site is a wooden agricultural shed which we are in the process of renovating and enlarging.
Over the past few years we have been able to raise enough funding to restore 60% of the shed, build a cellar for storing produce from the land, and a lean-to extension for housing tools and machinery.
Ironically, we now have the utter luxury of a (donated) washing machine so that volunteers can keep their clothes clean – but they still have to wash themselves with cold water under a garden hose, or take a walk down to the local creek for a swim.
We are now looking to raise enough money to complete the shed and extension so that we can use part of it as a classroom and Education Centre, provide much-needed improvements to the facilities for the workers and volunteers on the land, and increase the storage space for tools and equipment. We also need to build a new, accessible compost toilet.
We currently have mains electricity on the land, but we are planning to install renewable sources of heat and power, including a passive solar water heated shower.
Having improved facilities will not only make it easier for the people already working the Land, it will also encourage more visitors to come, and extend the visitor season.
It will provide a decent space for us to be able to run courses, classes and open days, so we can reach out to yet more people. It will also be possible to hire out the classroom space for like-minded people to use.
It will enable us to bring broadband to the land and move our plant research here. Over the years this research has blossomed into a massive resource of information on useful plants that is viewed by more than one million people a year.
Not only will these improvements help to spread the word to more people, but they will also help the project to become more financially self-sustaining.
Having these facilities in place will help the whole project to function better, and in turn this will help more people to connect with and care about the Environment.
We will be keeping this page and our Facebook page page up to date with developments as our crowdfunding campaign progresses.
All donations will be used to fund projects on our land. Depending on the amount we raise, these are our priorities:
- To finish the rebuilding of the shed as a multi-purpose building.
- To install a new improved accessible compost toilet.
- To install a workroom/classroom/demonstration area where we can run courses, hold events etc.
- To finish the lean-to, which stores tools and machinery, liberating the shed for other purposes.
- To install renewable energy, including solar panels on the shed roof and passive water heating for a shower.
- To install high-speed broadband to enable research work to be carried out on site and improve connectivity for our volunteers and visitors.
Will you help us?
All donations will be very gratefully received.
Thank you for reading this.
A delicious salad made of leaves flowers and fruits.
All donators will be acknowledged on a special page on our website as a permanent thank-you for your support.
if you are involved with an environmental or social project, let us know and we will give it a mention.
Plants for a Future