January 14, 2016
Solar CITIES, Envisaj Mercy, and Palestinian Polytechnic students worked together on January 13 and 14 to build our “refugee camp” IBC based biodigester in a greenhouse at Hakoritna Farm. The previous day we had built an identical system with passive solar heating windows across the street from Odey Taneeb’s house, owner of Hakoritna Farm. We also felt it imperative to build a system at the farm where previously Imad Atrash from the Palestinian Wildlife Society and Global Campus leader Aida Shibli had constructed the Solar CITIES variant of the ARTI India floating drum digester. Because of the elevation (between 561 and 791 meters above sea level) and the latitude, the area gets rather cold in the winter. For this reason, we wanted to test both the passive solar heating double pane window AND the effect of putting the digester in the greenhouse. It is our belief that biodigesters and greenhouses belong together. This is something can be found in China and is something that Biogas Bob Hamburg has been advocating for decades and I have been doing on my porch in Germany since 2009.
In this case we built the biodgester in the greenhouse near the kitchen but put the floating gas holder outside the greenhouse next to where the gas is used.
We also relocated the ARTI style digester from its demonstration site along the entrance road to a sunny spot just outside the greenhouse near the solar dryers. This follows the permaculture principle that digesters should be nearest to where the waste is generated and the gas and fertilizer are used.
Now Hakoritna Farm, which was the site of Palestine’s first Ecovillage Design Education Course in 2014, has two functioning biodigesters of two different styles, with a third up the hill next to Fayez’s house.
This is part of a longitudinal educational project with the students of Palestine Polytechnic University.