This month I am taking a short break in my blog series “On-Farm Variety Trials” to share thoughts inspired by my weekend excursion to the Perennial Farm Gathering in Madison, Wisconsin.
Some call it permaculture, some call it woody perennial polyculture, some call it growing a grove! I call it inspiration! The Perennial Farm Gathering is an annual event for growers, enthusiasts, and activist who share a passion for perennializing the food system. The gathering is hosted by the Savanna Institute, a non-profit and friend of The Land Connection, who are working to develop paths for the planting, growth, and sale of perennial crops like chestnuts, hazelnuts, currents, and blackberries. Their ultimate goal is to convert much of midwestern american agriculture from annual monocrop corn/soybean rotation into perennial, highly diverse chestnut/hazelnut production. According to their co-founder Kevin Wolz, chestnuts are a high starch analogue of corn and hazelnuts are a high protein analogue of soybeans, perfect perennial replacements for the current cropping system!
Image credit: Savanna Institute