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Piyush Labhsetwar has been working in the field of regenerative agriculture since 2017 on projects like developing perennial grains, integrating them in agroforestry, and perennial ground cover. He joins the role of Farm and Land Stewardship Manager to use agroecological practice to steward the relationship of the broader community with our community farm.

Piyush Labhsetwar grew up in Central India quite removed from agriculture but found his way back to the land at Randolph Street Community Garden in a neighborhood of Champaign, Illinois facing food apartheid in 2016. After finishing his doctoral studies in Biophysics, he joined The Land Institute in Salina, KS to work on development of perennial wheat. Perennial wheat is one of the many Perennial grains being developed as new crops which yield harvests for multiple years and prevent soil erosion, regenerate soil health and reduce nutrient runoff. He brings these new perennial row crops to the Northeast as tools for climate resilience and to integrate them with tree crops in agroforestry settings. His relationship with Grow Food Northampon’s land started in 2022 when he leased a third of an acre for establishment of a research plot comprised of an orchard of Pawpaws with Kernza, a perennial relative of wheat, growing next to them.

Piyush is committed to using agroecological practices to make farming regenerative and just. These practices include but are not limited to farmer-to-farmer support network, participatory methods of crop improvement like evolutionary plant breeding and citizen science etc. He envisions his role as a steward of agroecologcial interventions by the community to heal our relationship with the land.

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