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Field Notes

Start-up company Perennial Pantry launches crowdfunding campaign inviting home cooks and bakers to test Kernza perennial grain and flour in their kitchens

Photo courtesy of Mette Nielsen
Flour and grain available for pre-order

Kernza perennial grain can currently be found on restaurant menus and in consumer products such as beer, crackers and pasta. Perennial Pantry seeks to bring this delicious new grain to home kitchens as flour and whole grain. Developed by The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas in close partnership with the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative, Kernza grain is a cousin of wheat that can be left in the field to return for several years without the annual tilling that damages topsoil and leads to erosion and nutrient losses. Kernza perennial grain develops a deep root system that helps sequester carbon, filter water, and keep continuous living cover on the land to create a habitat for pollinators, song-birds, and wildlife. It produces a nutritious grain while protecting natural resources, a win-win for farmers, farming communities, food companies, and home cooks. 

Kernza varieties are currently grown on a very small scale on farms worldwide and there is a limited supply of grain. In an effort to expand awareness and increase availability of Kernza perennial grain, Perennial Pantry is launching a crowdfunding campaign that will fund new milling capability to serve the direct-to-consumer market.  Participate today by pre-ordering 14oz bags of Kernza flour or whole grain or subscribing to a monthly variety pack. More details on the campaign and opportunities to participate can be found  on the Perennial Pantry website

Home cooks and bakers interested in trying this novel flour and grain will also be invited to participate in a citizen science project hosted by The Land Institute. Participants will receive information when product orders ship in August 2020 and additional information will be distributed electronically at that time. will offer recipes and suggestions for cooking and baking with Kernza and encourage participants to share their home kitchen experiences via a survey and on social media using the hashtags #KernzaKitchen and #CookingthePerennialFuture. Home cooks and bakers will be asked to share observations of flavor, performance, and their experience of working with this unique grain. 

Participants’ input and experiences from this citizen science project will be used to inform food scientists, breeders, farmers, policy makers, culinary professionals, and other home cooks about the many benefits of Kernza and how it can be used to create delicious food while also protecting our soil and water.

About Perennial Pantry: Perennial Pantry exists to bring delicious, climate positive food staples to your kitchen. We’re a public benefit corporation and members of 1% for the Planet, because we believe business can be a force for good. We’re committed to building a new type of agricultural supply chain that is equally good for people and the environment.

Perennial Pantry is an offshoot of Sprowt Labs, a company founded in 2015 to develop pilot malting equipment for the craft brewing industry and accelerate the localization of brewing supply chains. Sprowt Labs currently offers wholesale Kernza, and received a Crop Research Grant from the MN Department of Agriculture in 2020 to research the potential of malting Kernza.