*Free tour of the anaerobic digester open to the public every second Thursday of the month in the spring, summer, and fall, at 1pm. Tours meet at the store and are lead by a representative from Casella Organics. No reservation required. All are welcome.*
The construction of the anaerobic digester by BGreen Energy on the farm has opened the door to a myriad of new opportunities. In partnership with, AGreen Energy, LLC, Casella Organics, and AGreen Solutions, the project aims to manage organic feedstocks from Massachusetts food companies, produce fertilizer products, generate renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supporting small scale farming. AGreen Energy constructed the first of its kind anaerobic digester on a dairy farm in Rutland, Massachusetts, built upon an expandable program that could be replicated. Longview Farm’s anaerobic digester is the second of these facilities. Manure and food waste is mixed and digested to produce annually over 2,100 Mwh of electrical energy, 7,040 MMBTUs of thermal energy, and 30,000 tons of liquid fertilizer.
The Jordan Family Farm in Rutland, MA was the first AGreen Energy, LLC partner to put a digester on their farm.[/caption]
Massachusetts has banned industrial food scraps from landfills making their management a challenge for food producers. In America, 29% of all food produced is wasted – that’s 273 pounds per person every year. This project results in “zero waste” from a sustainable closed-loop food chain where everything is repurposed and reused in Western MA. Along with cow manure, the digester also recycles food scraps from companies like Hood, Cabot, Whole Foods, and Cains. One cow produces enough manure to power one home for a year through this digester. But by using the scraps as feedstock, the amount of energy is increased significantly.
State and federal energy policies were produced and implemented through a dynamic collaborative process over the past six years and played a major role in facilitating this project. The Patrick Administration has used the dairy digester as the “poster child” for coordinated policies to make renewable energy from discarded materials that we had to manage and eliminate.
The Barstow's, their partners, investors, friends, and neighbors, are excited about what this project means for our community and our world. "Going green" can, and will start on small family farms like Longview.
The digester, or the part the does the mixing of the food waste and manure, is mostly underground.
The enormous green tanks take the sulfur particles out of the biogas and bring the gas up to EPA standards.