The Land Institute launched its third and largest civic science project with a new perennial wheat program. A cohort of 106 civic scientists distributed across 40 U.S. states will help test the perenniality of wheat by growing plants from seed at a garden scale, along with intermediate wheatgrass and annual wheat as experimental controls and educational comparisons. In addition, they will observe and collect data on this perennial wheat’s multi-year perenniality, which is the ability of the plant to regrow after grain harvest and its ability to survive harsh winters and summers. Perennial wheat civic scientists joined a kick-off webinar to meet with The Land Institute researchers during their establishment season in September, interact in regional break-out rooms, and prepare to submit data on planting and seedling emergence to the project on CitSci.org.
Learning and stories from civic scientists and researchers will help improve our civic science methods for advancing diverse, perennial grain agriculture. Participants were selected based on geographic representation to support robust data collection. The hope is that the perennial wheat and civic scientists will persist over multiple years during the three-year project.
Interested in joining future projects? Complete the Civic Science Interest Form.