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Trek to Prairie Festival for sustainable agriculture weekend

If you want to learn about agricultural innovations and taste the world’s first perennial grain, head to Salina, KS for the annual three-day Prairie Festival at The Land Institute.

Since 1979, the festival has drawn thousands from around the world who are interested in the sustainable agriculture research being done at The Land Institute. The New York Times has called the festival an “intellectual hootenanny.” This year’s event will be held Sept. 22-24 near Salina, KS.

The Land Institute was founded by Wes Jackson in 1976 as a science-based research organization designed to develop perennial grain crops and sustainable agricultural practices. It’s first perennial grain, Kernza®, is being used for brewing Long Root Ale beer for the Hopworks Urban Brewery, a division of Patagonia Provisions, in Portland, OR. Prairie Festival goers will get a chance to try Kernza® in pancakes on Saturday morning.

Speakers include Jill Isenbarger from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY; Severine Von Tscharner Fleming of Greenhorns in Westport, NY; and Cathrine Sneed, founder of The Garden Project in San Francisco, CA. The institute’s scientific teams will present research updates on Kernza® perennial grain as it enters the consumer marketplace.

The three-day Prairie Festival includes a traditional barn dance and bonfire, speakers on sustainability and agricultural issues, tours, nature walks, yoga, music, food trucks and a presentation by Jackson.

Festival tickets are $40 per adult; $30 for Friends of The Land, $10 for college students; and free for children 18 and younger. Meal options and primitive camping will be available. For more information and tickets, visit The Land Institute

Photo: Scott Seirer

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