We are super excited about a new outreach effort in partnership with the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) and The Land Institute (Salina, KS). SLSC has an awesome agriculture exhibit - GROW - which opened in June 2016. We are germinating seeds of perennial crop candidates kernza, Silphium integrifolium, and an alfalfa hybrid, for installation in the GROW exhibit. These species have been identified by The Land Institute as promising species for perennial crop development because of their seed attributes and deep root systems. The plants in the GROW exhibit will serve as a launching point for conversations about the role of plant biodiversity in the future of agriculture, natural systems agriculture based on the development of an agricultural system that mimics natural ecosystems (like the North American prairie), and how perennial plants, with their longer lifespan and extensive root systems, can contribute to soil conservation and sustainable agriculture. This outreach effort is part of a larger collaborative project between Saint Louis University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and The Land Institute which is focused on building a botanical foundation for perennial polyculture agriculture. Thank you to Claudia Ciotir, Sterling Herron, Maddie Earnest, Hannah Reinhart, Lee DeHaan, Brandon Schlautman, and David Van Tassel for assistance with this work.
As part of our NSF funded project on grafted grapevines we have partnered with Forrest Keeling Nursery to construct an experimental grafted population. The vines have been grafted and are now beginning the process of growing together.
Miller Lab members