Transforming Agriculture, Perennially
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Category: Video

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Natural ecosystems are self-sustaining.  For at least 10,000 years, humans have disrupted those ecosystems and kept them in a continuous state of disruption in order to feed our populations. Increasingly, the scale of those agricultural disruptions threatens to permanently degrade the ecosphere upon which we depend.

Humans didn’t plan this, nor do we intend harm.  And certainly farmers and agricultural producers, along with food consumers, are caught together with other living communities and species in a food and agricultural system that has been pushed beyond its breaking point.

We believe that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Led by a team of plant breeders and ecologists working in global partnerships, we are developing new perennial crops to be grown in ecologically functional mixtures known as polycultures. Our goal is to create an agriculture that mimics many aspects of natural ecosystems in order to produce ample food and reduce the negative impacts of industrial agriculture.

From nutrient retention to carbon sequestration to weed suppression, the agriculture we are bringing to fruition promises to become a soil-forming, rather than a soil-degrading activity.

We invite you to learn more about our work at The Land Institute and how these perennial polycultures are at the heart of the fundamental shift we and our partners are working toward.

The Land Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization founded in 1976 and based in Salina, Kansas.  To enable this critical work, you may donate online or contact us at 785-823-5376 to visit with our team.

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Our friends and partners at The Perennial restaurant in San Francisco have been tirelessly supporting awareness and the benefits of perennial grains, adaptive polycultures, and healthy soil systems in a very direct way – by making and serving delicious food from Kernza® perennial grain developed at The Land Institute.

The Perennial’s pastry chef Nicola Carey demonstrates how she makes Kernza® bread, from mixing the dough to serving suggestions.

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A conversation between Wes Jackson, Wendell Berry and Mark Bittman at Cooper Union in New York City.

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Peter Kenmore, now retired from his position as an agriculture entomologist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, gives the Strachan Donnelley Lecture on Conservation and Restoration.

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Wes Jackson, president of The Land Institute speaks at the 2015 Prairie Festival — Teach Us To Number Our Days

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Allison Miller, associate professor of biology at St. Louis University, talks about a joint project with The Land Institute to create a global inventory of perennial plants that might be suitable for domestication.

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Photographer Dornith Doherty, the artist for the 2015 Prairie Festival, talks about her work.

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John Cobb, Jr, theologian, philosopher, environmentalist, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on “Changing Our Worldview: Why It Matters”

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Angus Wright, chairman of The Land Institute Board asks What Will People Do For Dirt?

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Zack Golper, owner of the Bien Cuit bakery in Brooklyn, NY, baked bread for Prairie Festival attendees using Kernza in order to compare the differences between Kernza grown in Illnois and Kansas.

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Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale University speaks on Nourishing Community: Ecology, Economics, Equity

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Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists speaks on War, Cheating and Agriculture.

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