Heat with grass not gas!
Let’s visit a plant nursery in Pawling, New York, that has been using grass — made into pellets — to heat their large greenhouses. The pellets are burned in an unmodified rice-coal stove. For the sake of a video demo, we fired up the stove for the first time since it was used last winter.
Dr. Tom Reed and Dirk-Jan Rosse chat about making grass pellets for heating. Could this really be the new coal?
There is a lot of fallow farm land in our area — abandoned farms, land that has to be brush hogged for absentee owners, whatever. Yet left as “weeds” one to two acres can heat a house for a year when made into pellets!
A couple of days later we walked the field and Dirk-Jan noticed some particularly tall goldenrod. I have heard it said by some farmers that there is more money to be made from goldenrod than from corn! It could be. Harvesting goldenrod is a simple three step operation: cutting, windrowing and baling. No special equipment, no spraying, no fertilizer. Much less fuel and time is spent on this crop.
This is not a demonstration project, proof of concept, or experiment. No public or foundation funds have been awarded this project (or, for that matter, this website). It is the beginning of a new business, bootstrapping and paying for itself as it catches on.
Continue here to see how this field of golden rod is harvested.