Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

Media Coverage

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Introducing crops that benefit the land in the Upper Midwest

Publication: KCRW's Good Food Podcast

Author: Evan Kleiman

In her latest book “The Perennial Kitchen,” Beth Dooley advocates for crops that are nutritious and can regenerate the landscape. Plus, get a recipe for cookies made with Kernza flour, a grain that is new to market and was in development for 40 years.

“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.

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