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.
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.
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.
The 36th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures featured Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson in a conversation moderated by Mary Berry, Wendell’s daughter and the founding Executive Director of The Berry Center. The conversation took place on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA.
2016 Prairie Festival
Longtime friend of The Land Institute, Wendell Berry delivers the Strachan Donnelley Lecture on Conservation and Restoration at the 2016 annual Prairie Festival in Salina, Kansas.