Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

Media Coverage


Perennial grains


Author: Winifred Bird

The British website published an article featuring our work, which focuses on developing perennial grains that can be grown in polycultures so as to make the most of ecosystem services:

Perennial crops are essential to permaculture. They free the farmer from the labor and ecological harm of clearing large stretches of land to replant yearly, build soil and provide year-round habitat for wild creatures. Fortunately, those looking to build a richly productive landscape have hundreds or even thousands of perennial fruits, nuts, herbs, vegetables, compost, fodder and oil crops to choose from.

Yet when it comes to cereals – the seed-bearing grasses that provide almost two-thirds of humanity’s calories – the situation is drastically different. Farmers did not domesticate a single perennial grain over 10,000 years or more of agricultural history, and the handful of experimental varieties available today yield far less than their annual counterparts.

Researchers at the Land Institute, a plant science center in the heart of America’s industrial farm country, want to change that …

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