Monday, September 04, 2006

Biodynamic! New superhero, or farming fun?

Two weekends ago, as a representative of, uh, myself, Growing Chefs went to a Biodynamic Farming Conference hosted by the wonderful Hawthorne Valley Farm of Ghent, New York. My favorite workshop was "Making Biodiesel Fuel," which, I assure you, is easier to do than you'd think! If you have $3000 to throw down to get the equiptment, it becomes (hurrah!) like cooking shortly after: the right ingredients, the right timing, and poof! you can drive a car with the pleasant aroma of french fries wafting after you in the breeze. Hurrah, hurrah because--One: this is better for the planet, and two: this is cheaper than unleaded.

Any diesel engine can convert to biodiesel, either at 100% or a B-10, B-20, etc. level. If you have an older car, the b-fuel is going to clean it out and make all the old cracks your dirty unleaded has been stopping up wash out. My novice recommendation, therefore, is to try this little project on a well-kept machine. Or start with a percentage of biodiesel before cranking it up to full-on use. Moi, I just own a bicycle. But I think this concept is pretty nifty.