Recently I visited an urban farm, by which I mean a farm smack in the middle of a city. That might seem unusual for the
We also learned what a biodigester is, and it’s a fascinating thing. It functions by taking organic matter and through an anaerobic process, facilitates its decomposition it into biogas. Translation: you put cow or pig shit into a long tube that’s partially underground, where it’s transformed into gas. One of the components of biogas is methane gas, which means that they have tubes from the biodigester leading directly to a stove. The liquid residue can be used as a biofertilizer for plants, while the solid residue can be used as animal food; they use it to feed their worms. One man’s (or animal’s) waste is another’s alimentation. All this from a plastic tube, heat, and water.
Speaking of worms, they have a ton of worm compost. I was impressed. Worm compost is pretty much unheard of here, but man, is it effective. Worms are amazing creatures: put them in dirt and they put air holes in it and enrich the soil. They can also speed up the decomposition process in a pile of trash, hence, the effectiveness of worm compost. This farm had California Red worms because they’re much more effective than Paraguayan worms. They also had three huge, enviable piles of compost. Compost is a beautiful, beautiful thing: decomposing trash that turns into mulch and acts as a natural fertilizer. They had the idea of building a shower near the compost piles, and this is wild, heating their bath water with the compost piles. You heard me right. Decomposition is an exothermic process, it gives off heat. Stick your hand in the middle of a compost pile and you’ll feel an intense heat. So the idea is to stick a spiral tube into the middle of the pile where it will heat water.
I don’t think this entry can do justice to how amazing this farm was. It was inspiring to see an organic farm in a country where too often farms suffer from excessive chemicals and people suffer health wise because of a lack of vegetables and poor nutrition.