Ken Fern leads us through a garden of improbable delights - cold climate yams five feet long, edible fuschia fruits, trees laden with delicious berries all through the winter, leaves and flowers with the most subtle and astonishing flavours. It shows us how to use land more efficiently and sustainably than ever before, and it brings to our sadly limited cuisine a vast new range of remarkable foods, all around the year. It is, in short, the first shot in an impending horticultural revolution. The result of an insatiable curiosity and years of painstaking research, this book is comparable in stature only to the works of Evelyn and Culpeper. --George Monbiot
Ken's enthusiasm and pertinent, honest observations make his writing as easily digested as the edible plants he loves. I'm delighted that this treasure trove of information has been marshalled between book covers and so made more accessible and preserved for future generations. --Joy Larkcom
In the 1970s British bus driver Ken Fern went back to the land. Twenty-five years later he published the first edition of this now-revised compendium, a catalog and guide to a staggering number of mostly-perennial plants that can be harvested for food and other uses. Literally, thousands of seed, root, fruit, flower and leaf crops from a range of bulbs, trees, shrubs, climbers, bamboos, water plants and more. While much of the info from the book is available online, the printed format can be easier to peruse and digest. There are sections on 'green manures' and how to mulch with cardboard boxes or newspaper and straw, as well as how to make a pond. Despite all the ideas and potential outlined in the book, the final chapter, 'Future Possibilities', truly emphasizes the magical allure of cultivation and experimentation. --Steven Leckart, Cool Tools
From the Publisher
This book contains information on a great many alternative food plants and otherwise useful plants. It also offers alternative methods of growing these plants in ways that are in harmony with the local environment and can help to improve the overall health of the planet.
Whilst many of the plants discussed here are reasonably well known in this country (even if their uses are not so well known), a number of the plants are much more experimental in their nature.
It is hoped that the book will stimulate interest in these plants and help people to increase the range of foods in their diet. It is also hoped that it will encourage people to experiment with some of the plants in this book and thereby help us to increase our knowledge of them.