A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Chris Farmer presents his dream for an Appalachian Machu Picchu

One of the ways Earthaven honors longtime members is with Member Appreciation evenings – where the person tells their life story. In this clip from his story, Chris Farmer presents his vision for creating an Appalachian version of Machu Picchu in our village.

Video of Appalachian Machu Picchu


Transcription of Appalachian Machu Picchu

My dream is to take wood waste at Earthaven and turn it into biochar.
And to release insane amounts of heat.
A 55-gallon barrel of wood turned into charcoal releases a quarter million BTUs.
And to take that heat and run a small scale-up ethanol plant.
Take the waste heat from the small ethanol plant and run a small scale bio-diesel plant.
Take the waste heat from the small-scale biodiesel plant and run a small scale bio-gas plant.
The waste product from the bio-gas plant is liquid nutrient and soak the biochar in it to nutrient load it.
Take the remaining effluent and saturate it with sawdust from like John McIntyre saw mill with it.
And make worm compost and then inoculate the bio char with the beneficial microorganisms in the worm compost.
Creating a no waste, ever cascading stream of industrial ecology on a village scale.
Where people can take the resources we have with us and provide, in essence, I mean according to our lifespans eternal soil fertility to turn this valley into an Appalachian version of Machu Picchu.

Something like that.

bio diesel, bio gas, bio-char, charcoal, ethanol, ethanol plant, Machu Picchu, no waste, small scale industry, soil fertility, worm compost, zero waste


Debbie Lienhart has been an Earthaven Ecovillage member since 2008 and is a Co-Director of Earthaven's School of Integrated Living.

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