Kansas Perennial Meadow

2014/09/23 by Posted in: Agro-news

The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas is creating a new agriculture informed by nature. This system produces food while preserving biodiversity. It minimizes the inevitable damage associated with annual crops including soil loss, and runaway greenhouse gases. Scientists at The Land Institute are developing multiple  perennial grain species that require much less fossil fuel use, that conserve soil and water, and that ameliorate droughts and deluges associated with climate change.

Eighty percent of the food we and our livestock eat comes from annual grains. Annuals must be planted yearly, unlike perennial grains that live two or more decades. Annuals require soil plowing, plus enormous amounts of energy, water, fertilizers and pesticides. Changing the way we farm by creating and utilizing perennial grains will dramatically reduce energy water, and chemical inputs. Perennial farming provides safer, more nutritious, and less expensive food. It also sequesters massive amounts of carbon, especially in the plant’s roots, keeping it out of our air.

On April 4, 2014, artist Maud Guilfoyle attended a talk at Cooper Union, NYC, entitled Nature as Measure: What’s the Future of Farming? presented by the Land institute and the Berry center. She was so inspired by the work of Wes Jackson at The Land Institute and the poetic common sense of Wendell Berry, that she painted what a Kansas meadow could look like with a fully developed perennial polyculture.IMG_8836


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