It's been 18 years since the
I traveled to
I landed in
We found Tornow at his farm next to a 13th century church built from brick and board, not far from a broken down castle being renovated into a hotel. As Martin and I hurried from the car, a window flew open. "Willkommen Mr. Wilson!bCrLf I heard a man shout. It was Tornow, welcoming us to his home.
Turning point Andreas had been one of many farmers working on a 16,000-acre state collective farm before the fall of the
It was then we realized, everything we buy or sell goes or comes from elsewhere,bCrLf says Tornow. "This was a starting point. We realized we could produce both food and energy, and we could keep that value here in the community.bCrLf
Tornow replaced the heating oil in his home with a wood burning furnace that fires a boiler to heat the house and farm buildings. Instead of the heating oil shipped in from outside the community, he uses wood from his own timber. Next, he set about a way to use his own farm's production to run the farm's tractors and equipment. He had already set up his car to run on pure plant oil, so he decided to convert all his tractors as well. He invested $250,000 in a plant oil mill to crush rapeseed for meal and oil,
Today Andreas and his son, Christoph (photo right), use 150,000 litres (39,600 gal.) of rapeseed oil from their own crop to run farm equipment. The rest — about 500,000 litres (132,000 gal.) — is sold for fuel to be made into biodiesel, and food oil. The family opened a small restaurant. grocery and slaughter house behind their home to take advantage of livestock production — and keep the value close at home.
"Jobs were created from this,bCrLf Andreas says. "They are simple ones, but they make money, and we save money. Best of all, it's good for the community and the money stays here in the community.
"Everything is about globalization now, but what we are doing is based on decentralization,bCrLf he says. "My dream is to grow it here and use it here.bCrLf
Tomorrow I'll tell you how Tornow made the decision to grow, process and use his own crop for fuel, and his vision for other farmers to add value in their own communities.
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