The Jenner Farm Director, Tim Crews, has devoted many years to investigating perennial grain crops, and gave us the chance to learn about this new research. We received paper bags full of spindly wheat clones in the spring, direct from Kansas. The aim this year was to establish the plot, and further research will continue next year. Established it has become! From one thin blade of grass, we now have clumps of wheat.
I have very little experience with the ins and outs of perennial wheat, but here's the gist: Perennial grains are unlike our current annual agriculture in that a farmer does not plow them under each year, but rather leaves the plants in place and continually harvests from them each year. Perennial grains mimic nature's tendency toward perennial plants. Benefits include lower fossil fuel use, from eliminating the yearly plowing, and lessened soil erosion.
For further explanation of this research, click here.