Jacob Grace: Hi, folks. This is Jacob Grace, and you’re listening to Perennial AF, the Savanna Institute’s podcast and blog about perennial agroforestry. In this episode, we’re listening back to a recording from our 2021 Perennial Farm Gathering, which was  almost two years ago now, with panelists Beth Dooley, Eliza Greenman and Anna Lappe I’m going to turn things right over to moderator Dayna Burtness.  

Dayna Burtness:  Welcome, everybody. It’s so good to be here virtually with you all to keep this really brief, because we have a lot of really juicy questions to cover with our three amazing panelists. So very quickly, I’m Dayna Burtness. I’m a pastured hog farmer at Nettle Valley Farm. We run an incubator farm program for young agrarians in southeastern Minnesota. I’m also a very proud and very stoked member of the Savanna Institute Advisory Committee, and I would love it if our three panelists would introduce themselves and feel free to brag. All right. Well, we’ll start with Anna. 

Anna Lappe:  Hi, everybody. I’m Anna Lappe, and I am zooming in from an office in which I have spent a lot of time over the past couple of years during the pandemic and wish we could all be together in person. But, you know, virtual is better than nothing. I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I am an author. I’ve written books on food and food systems transformation. My most recent book was about the links between food systems and the climate crisis. And I work with a group of folks at real food media that works on communication strategy and public education, and also work with funders that are really trying to look at how can philanthropy be part of moving the needle toward more agri ecological food systems. So really great to be here and looking forward to the conversation.  

Dayna Burtness:   Thank you. Thank you for being here. Eliza, we’ll have you go next since you’re in order on my screen.  

Eliza Greenman: All right. Hi, everybody. My name is Eliza Greenman, and I am an orchardist and historical horticulturalist and a horticultural historian. Fruit Explorer. I have pigs sometimes, and so I’m really into tree crops. Mostly it’s mostly what I think about all day, Every day. And, yeah, I’m in Northern Virginia and I’m the founder of Hog Tree, which is basically how to offset livestock feed through the use of fruit trees. Yeah, I sell charcuterie. Hogtree.com.  

Dayna Burtness:  And thank you Eliza. And Beth. 

Beth Dooley:  Hi, everybody. I’m Beth Dooley. I’m a cookbook author and food writer. I am a James Beard Award food writer, and my focus is on trying to connect home cooks primarily with the work that all of you are doing because it’s so important and the food is so delicious. So I’ve always found that recipes are sort of an interesting vehicle to convey information people might not come across otherwise. So that’s the focus of a lot of what I do.  

Dayna Burtness: Thank you three. Okay, so the first question that I have is sort of selfish because I really want to hear the answer to this. But all three of you are women with very deep expertise in your fields. And we all know how experts love to totally geek out on something that they’re currently super stoked about. So I’m wanting to know what is sparking off new and big ideas in your brain, which could be an ingredient. It could be a species, it could be a collaboration. So ready, set, go. And I’m going to talk about I’m going to hand  this to Eliza first. 

Eliza Greenman: Oh, yeah. So I’m excited about a lot of things, and I think that’s because of the company I keep. I just have an incredible network that’s surrounding me and they’re all excited and passionate and so I sort of absorb that. But for right now, one of the things I’m most excited about is the fact, well, it’s built on sort of a sad thing in that there’s a big feed shortage going on in China. And what that’s pushed them to do is over the last few years is to start doing a lot of real research into feed alternatives. And so they’re sort of at the forefront right now of really awesome tree crops research in how to feed livestock off of tree leaves. And, you know, I mean, they’re going for it. And so it’s really cool to see that because in the United States it’s not necessarily anything of importance. But in my realm of perennials, in my realm of trying to feed livestock off of trees, like it’s just so good to see because you don’t get research like this every day. So we’reat the the beginning or probably tip of the iceberg with it. And there’s so much to come.  

Dayna Burtness:  Super exciting. And Beth, what’s coming up for you? 

Beth Dooley: You know, I’m the hazelnuts. I love the work being done on hazelnuts right now. And I’m very fond of the American Hazelnut Company up in Ashland. We have friends that live up there, and the hazelnut oil is awesome. The hazelnuts themselves come toasted and ready to use. The hazelnut flour makes fabulous crackers. So I’ve been goofing around with a lot of hazelnut stuff and then also seeing the work that’s going on in the Hmong community. Specifically, one of the farmers I’ve been friends with who has been working mostly growing mostly vegetables and helping other Hmong farmers expand their their crops is now getting into orchards because she understands that that will then provide a future for her kids and her kids’ kids because she is recognizing the potential for perennials. So I think that’s pretty exciting too, that we’re seeing more and more people understand how important they are in a variety of different ways. 

Dayna Burtness: And they’re delicious.