The New Coal? Grass Pellets

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.

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