‘Around the Farm Table’ explores climate change fighting grain

May 5, 2022 Ian Lewitz Leave a Comment

Join PBS Wisconsin for an all new Around the Farm Table as host Inga Witscher learns about Kernza, a new perennial grain being used in brewing, baking and as a forage crop for livestock. The all-new episode premieres Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. on PBS Wisconsin. You can also stream the episode online on at pbswisconsin.org

Kernza harvest.

Kernza was originally developed by the Land Institute, an agricultural research organization based in Salinas, Kansas, dedicated to developing environmentally sustainable agricultural systems. The grain is naturally recurring and has deep roots which sequester carbon. Researchers believe that because of its inherent characteristics, growing Kernza can be used as a tool in the fight against climate change and soil erosion.

In the episode, Inga travels throughout the state to talk with farmers and food producers who are working with the new grain. She visits Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove, the first brewery in Wisconsin to make a beer with Kernza, to see how they have incorporated it into a new beer. She also stops by Madison Sourdough Company, where the bakery sometimes produces loaves of bread using Kernza grain.

Kernza meal.

Featured in the episode is University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of agronomy Valentin Picasso. Picasso’s research team works with Kernza to help farmers develop best practices for crop growing.

“Being able to work with a large team of people to develop a crop that can bring reconciliation between food production and the environment really makes me excited and gives me hope for humanity,” said Picasso.

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