from makewealthhistory: There are over 20,000 known edible plants in the world, a quarter of which can be grown in the UK. So why does 90% of our food come from just 20 plant species?
Ken Fern has dedicated his life’s work to rectifying this situation, trying out and promoting alternative foods, and now runs the charity Plants for a Future.
On their website you will find thousands of plants that can be eaten or used in other ways, and the book offers just a sample.
Fern has a few criteria for inclusion. They have to be useful, they should grow outdoors in a temperate climate, and they should preferably be perennial.
In a very honest introduction, he shares his experiences of trying to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, growing vegetables and fruit organically. This, he discovered, was just too much work. “I don’t want to spend all my time growing plants, I want to be able to walk around and look at them, to sit back and enjoy them” say this self-confessed ‘lazy gardener’.
The traditional foods of the vegetable patch are annuals, and they need to be grown and planted out every year. Trees and shrubs are far better value – you just plant them once, and they’ll crop year after year with very little effort.