Saturday, 13 April 2019

breakfast of champions

One of the intermediate achievements to come out of a four-decade experiment of The Land Institute’s founders Wes and Dana Jackson was trialled earlier this week before a body of scientists, conservationists and environmental activists in the form of a cereal milled from the grain of a perennial wheat, domesticated through a series of cross-breeding (see also) to make a potentially useful food crop out of wild prairie grasses.
Calling their cultivar Kernza, the team hopes to transform and invert the way industrial agriculture affects the environment and ecosystem as an enduring part of an environment that admits cohabitation rather than a seasonal interloper that requires energy intensive replanting year after year and causes a large degree of collateral damage despite its otherwise shallow impact.  In comparison, seasonal farming practises seem like a scorched earth campaign, with pesticides, erosion, vast expanses of monoculture that does not allow for a degree of diversity and the act of tilling itself that releases a bigger share of carbon dioxide than most other human enterprises.  Learn more at the links above.