Year-round Wheat

Image Credit: Dehaan via Wikimedia Commons

If Wes Jackson succeeds in his life dream, the annual autumn wheat harvest may come to an end...and that's a good thing. In 1976, Jackson founded the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas to revolutionize modern agriculture by researching and demonstrating the concept of perennial polyculture. Conventional agriculture uses large amounts of water, chemicals, and fossil fuels and only produces crops once a year. By domesticating perennial crops like wheatgrass and hybridizing them with annual crops like wheat, the resulting crops are more productive, much less resource-intensive to maintain, and more in tune with the prairie ecosystem within which they grow. Best of all, as a strong proponent of sustainable agriculture, Jackson accomplishes all this without the use of genetic engineering. We've also heard that the Land Institute's annual Prairie Festival, full of lectures, storytelling, and music, is not to be missed.