YERTpod30: Perennial Good Food in Kansas

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Dear YERTians,

Right in heart of Kansas we found two extraordinary but very different approaches to creating healthy, smart, and local food. Wes Jackson will light up your mind with genetic innovations at The Land Institute, while Hilary Brown will light up your taste buds at Local Burger. Neither are to be missed…

With a 25-year plan and a staff filled with PhD’s, Wes Jackson and The Land Institute are on a mission to create a farm that works like a prairie. They call it "Natural Systems Agriculture," but we like to call it "the mother of all environmental solutions." Their work targets fundamental changes to agricultural systems that will have a positive impact on common human challenges including fossil fuel dependence, pesticide pollution, fertilizer runoff, water shortages, soil erosion, cultural erosion, and climate change. This is one of the most potent stories that we encountered all year– we would love to know if you agree, so let us know at

Hilary Brown has quite possibly established the first and best fast food restaurant in America to use primarily local healthy ingredients and practices. The restaurant is called Local Burger, and she regularly converts vegetarians into carnivores after they try her elk burgers and learn about the humane practices of her farm sources. She certainly converted us into rabid fans and we can’t wait to return!

That’s all for now. May your holidays be evergreen, and if you’re still trying to figure out how to simplify the season, consider the concrete suggestions in YERT’s Simple Living 101 video here.

Mark, Ben, and Julie

P.S. For information about the topics in this video, check out these breadcrumbs!

The Land Institute – It is difficult to express their mission statement better than they do: "When people, land, and community are as one, all three members prosper; when they relate not as members but as competing interests, all three are exploited. By consulting Nature as the source and measure of that membership, The Land Institute seeks to develop an agriculture that will save soil from being lost or poisoned while promoting a community life at once prosperous and enduring."

Prairie Festival – Every year the Land Institute throws one heck of an informative and inspirational multi-day festival. People travel from miles around to listen to Wes Jackson and his friends and peers. If you’re on the continent, we highly recommend it. Here is the link from 2008’s festival:

Most Important Human Challenge Ever! – Our interview with Wes Jackson was filled with incredible quotes that we couldn’t fit into YERTpod30. One of our favorites is particularly timely, as Wes indicates what he would tell America if he were President of the United States. Check it out here and share it with friends and president elects!

Local Burger – Ok, so you haven’t really lived until you’ve tried the elk burger at Local Burger. Trust us. It is as good as our faces say in the video. Stunning flavor. And for the vegetarians out there, you’re also saved– Hilary has created the mother of all veggie burgers just for you. Here’s the rest of the scoop from Local Burger’s website: "Established in historic downtown Lawrence, Kansas, the restaurant sources all of its meats locally and features a variety of burgers, including beef, buffalo, elk, lamb, pork, turkey, and tofu, and is home of the World’s Best Veggie Burger (it’s gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, corn-free, soy-free, and DELICIOUS!)."

2 thoughts on “YERTpod30: Perennial Good Food in Kansas

  1. Julie,

    I have never met you, but I have been getting all these wonderful vibes from you, on Facebook, in your and my blogs, on Twitter. On this special day of Christmas Eve, I am sending out plenty of good energy your way, so that you can carry through with your grassroots initiative. Thanks for sharing all these inspiring stories.



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