In 2006, we built a methane digester capable of repurposing manure to benefit both our farm and the greater environment.
Right now, you may be wondering, “what in the world is a methane digester?”
Well, simply put, a methane digester is an underground, oxygen-free, concrete tank that serves as a collection point for all of our manure. During the 21 days that the manure is stored in this vessel, it is heated to around 104 degrees. There are special microbes, or “bugs” as we often call them, in the tank that digest left-over starches and fatty acids that are in manure. The bugs then burp out methane gas, which we collect and use to run generators to produce electricity.
Now, the next thing you may be wondering is “why in the world do they do this?”
There are lot of benefits for our farm! Valuable byproducts converted from our manure include:
- Sale of electricity. Our generators produce of enough electricity to meet the power needs of 400 homes daily.
- An environmentally safe, nutrient-rich fertilizer than can be used on small farms and even home gardens (we use it on our farm too)
- A pathogen-free bedding product for cattle. After the manure is digested in an oxygen free environment, we separate the liquid manure from the solid part. The solids are then used for bedding.