by Collin Gabriel
Channelsmith, Hatch Innovation
Let’s imagine Oregon is worried about agriculture. And when I say “agriculture”, I mean the current state of affairs that involves large expensive machinery, soil erosion, and chemicals sprayed for a variety of purposes to mimic what nature does in a not-so-bottom-line way. If we are keeping on this hypothetical, then we could say Oregonians and our food culture reflect a desire for something different, perhaps something more ecologically-nurturing.
You could imagine that a crop that does not have to be replanted year after year might build soil, instead of eroding it. And vast root systems that develop through careful cultivation might hold in some of that carbon we’ve been worrying about.
Well, hypothetical Oregonians, there may be a ray of sunshine on the sometimes cloudy day that is our food system. It comes in the form of perennial wheat. Why is this important, you ask? My knee-jerk response would be because we now have an environmentally-friendly beer supply, but that’s just me. You could look at the many products using wheat-based beer and see the implications of mass-producing such a beverage. You could imagine that a crop that does not have to be replanted year after year might build soil, instead of eroding it. And vast root systems that develop through careful cultivation might hold in some of that carbon we’ve been worrying about. But don’t take my word for it; instead let the Washington Post paint a vision for you that will trigger all the second-tab googling of “Land Institute”, “Wes Jackson” and “Lee Dehaan” you can muster.
So many advantages, possibilities, and hopes arise when people find their passion and dedicate nearly 4 decades trying to achieve it. We say *cheers* to those folks with a nice glass of Long Root Ale from Hopworks Brewery here in Portland.