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Alternative Energy on the Farm - 11/10/05

Alternatives to petroleum-based energy sources are moving into the mainstream and onto our farms and ranches. With the increasing costs of using power from the grid, some farmers and ranchers are switching to renewable and sustainable sources of energy.


Scott Mathiesson - Laguna Farm: Scott owns and operates a 40-acre vegetable farm and large CSA on the Laguna in Sebastopol. Recently, Scott has converted his machinery over to vegetable oil, and runs a portion of the farm off solar. He is becoming recognized as an expert on vegetable oil as a fuel source.

Albert Straus - Straus Family Creamery: Albert Straus has been a pioneer of organic dairying. Now he has moved the pioneer spirit into the realms of alternative energy with his use of a methane digester system to power his 280-cow organic dairy. Albert also uses biodiesel.

John Williams - Frog's Leap Winery: John was an early adopter of organic grape production and dry farming in the Napa Valley. Today, he powers his winery operation entirely from solar and geothermal.
Global Energy Partners, consultants


Residential Environmental Design

Geothermal Heating/Cooling Systems article

Energy Match Geothermal Heating Systems article

Albert Straus methane digester info

USDA Rural Development energy initiatives info

Community Development Agency- Sustainability in Marin

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
EERE maintains a gateway to "hundreds of Web sites and thousands of online documents on energy efficiency and renewable energy," at their Energy Information Portal

USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program Fact Sheet: