Meet Danielle, a Soil Aficionado!
HomeBiogas is proud to welcome a wonderfully wide array of people into our family and we are blessed to have our recent Kickstarter campaign expand that family tremendously. Today we are honored to shine light on one of our newest family members, Danielle! Although shy to admit that she first learned of biogas through social media, she is nonetheless ecstatic about becoming the owner of a HomeBiogas 2.0 appliance and doing her part to live in a more environmentally-friendly fashion. But Danielle is no newbie when it comes to environmental science. She is currently going to school to become a hydrologist and soil scientist.
“My goal is to help farmers survive drought by better understanding their soil and using permaculture practices.”
Go Danielle! Aside from being a student and working part-time, Danielle is the proud owner of Fair Shining farm, a small hobby farm outside St. Louis, Missouri. There she raises Anconas ducks, black Java chickens, German Angora rabbits, English Shepherds, and most recently, Pilgrim geese . She utilizes sustainable farming methods such as no till and cover cropping and is excited to soon add HomeBiogas 2.0’s natural liquid fertilizer to her routine to return essential nutrients to her soil and avoid artificial fertilizers.
Danielle is also a huge advocate for reducing food waste. She is fed up with the staggering amount of compostables that end up in landfills each year, especially since these “waste” piles could be providing us with biogas, helping to reduce our dependency on natural gas and propane. Instead, she sees value in food waste that is typically thrown away, recognizing it as an excellent source of livestock feed or input for biogas units to produce natural fertilizers and eco-friendly cooking gas. That is why she plans to use her HomeBiogas 2.0 appliance to not only recycle the waste from her farm, but also from the restaurant where she works. She has made a habit of saving the produce scraps, such as the ends of lettuce, tomatoes and carrots, from their kitchen and bringing them home to feed to her geese. But they are not always able to finish it all and she has decided to avoid composting ever since her dog became very ill from eating out of her (fenced off) compost pile.
When it comes to cooking at home, Danielle has been using propane up until recently when it came time to buy a new tank and she realized that HomeBiogas 2.0 was actually the cheaper alternative! Plus, it would liberate her from the strains of yet another utility bill and aggravating utility company. Now she can have her cooking gas, which she prefers to cook on over an electric stove, but not have to worry about propane deliveries or using energy from fossil fuels that are extremely harmful to the environment. However, because Danielle doesn’t cook every single day but is collecting large amounts of food waste, she is hoping to use extra storage bags to collect enough energy to use to heat her home for some time during the mild Missouri winters and lower her electric bill. She also plants to sell any extra liquid fertilizer to generate an additional revenue stream for her farm – maybe enough to afford another HomeBiogas 2.0 unit!
Danielle’s noble aspirations expand far and wide. She hopes to start a table-to-farm movement in the St. Louis area and for it to someday spread internationally. This emerging movement is the second part of the more well known farm-to-table movement. It works to divert restaurants’ food waste from landfills by instead sending it to local farmers to use as compost to nourish their soil and grow more food, essentially beginning the cycle all over again! Danielle hopes to integrate biogas production into this cycle by partnering restaurants with farms that are using HomeBiogas units.
We here at HomeBiogas are beyond delighted to welcome such an admirable character with great aspirations to our family. Welcome aboard, Danielle! We thank you for your enthusiastic support and hope that we can help return the favor by supporting your truly inspirational work towards a more sustainable future.
Written by: Rebecca Farhi
Rebecca is a passionate environmentalist studying the overlap of social and environmental issues at the University of California, Berkeley.