Introducing crops that benefit the land in the Upper Midwest
New podcast from KRCR’s Good Food with host Evan Kleinman interview author Beth Dooley about perennial crops, including Kernza.
“To me, sustainability suggests that things stay the same, but these foods help us regain our land,” says cookbook author Beth Dooley. In explaining regenerative agriculture, she describes perennial crops that come back every year without having to be replanted. Familiar perennials include asparagus, orchard fruits, berries, rhubarb, and hazelnuts. Larger grains have the potential to replace monocrops.
Based in Minnesota, Dooley explains that local farmers have introduced a perennial grain known as kernza, which performs like grass, benefitting the landscape by trapping water, retaining carbon, and harboring wildlife. In development for 40 years, kernza has the potential to root 20 feet down into the soil and is being planted around wellheads to prevent chemical runoff. The flour has a graham flavor and performs like a dryer wholewheat flour. Dooley’s new book is “The Perennial Kitchen.”