New Healthy Soil Guide Gives Cooks a Better Recipe for Climate Change
I’d never really thought too much about the difference between annual and perennial [plants] until we compared them in terms of soil. Whereas annual crops get tilled and replanted every year, releasing soil carbon into the atmosphere where it becomes a greenhouse gas, perennial plants send down deep roots that sustain an underground ecosystem that rebuilds soil carbon. And we’re not just talking about preserving large perennials—like trees—from deforestation, but also perennial grasses, which used to cover the prairie states that are now being depleted by annual crops, like wheat. We learned that The Land Institute in Kansas has domesticated a native perennial grass to make a new grain, called Kernza, which restores soil carbon, supports wildlife, and so much more. Grasslands are amazing.