Friday, October 17, 2014

How To Bring Greensboro Out Of Poverty: Part 6

When I began this series, How To Bring Greensboro Out Of Poverty I wanted to avoid investment near Piedmont Triad International Airport but Mayor Vaughan and her developer cronies will be happy to hear that in order for my plan to succeed this part requires at least some new development at the tank farm and quite possibly at PTI itself.

Now please understand, this is just 1 idea, there is room for many more. This is simply using a renewable resource we already have on hand and putting it to use instead of spending fortunes on trying to eliminate it as has been done for decades. How many other things could we approach in that same manner?

Not too long ago I got my hands on an aquatic plant known as Duckweed. Lemna minor, a species native to North Carolina to be exact. 

There wasn't much of it. As a matter of fact as Goldfish eat Duckweed I was concerned that my Goldfish would eat all of my Duckweed before I could get it established so I rigged a floating pot in such a way as to keep my little fishies away from my Duckweed while keeping both in the same 300 gallon tank in my back yard.

In a few short days the pot was filled so I added a second pot. Now, less than a month later I've moved Duckweed to several other containers including a 55 gallon rain barrel and a shallow pan where my chickens are giving Duckweed a try. You see, Duckweed is used in Asia to feed fish like Tilapia and Carp, cattle, ducks, chickens and people. As a matter of fact: some chicken farmers in Vietnam feed their laying hens a diet of 100% Duckweed. And my 300 gallon tank? It's almost half covered in Duckweed.

Duckweed is in-fact a superfood of sorts with more protein than Soybeans. And it tastes like cabbage with pepper on it.

Did you know mosquitoes don't breed on ponds or other bodies of water that are covered with Duckweed? And to think, most people who have Duckweed are trying to kill it.

But as my interest in Duckweed grew I learned it can be so much more. As a matter of fact regular eating of the species of Duckweed that is native to North Carolina is subject to cause high instances of Kidney and Gal Stones in people who are most susceptible but as this video shows the uses for North Carolina Duckweed could turn Greensboro around.

Now I did some checking on this company CEG Power and Gas (Ceres Energy Group) and it appears they haven't really done anything with their technology nor does it appear they've built the plants they mentioned in the video but that still leaves plenty of potential for Duckweed in Greensboro.

For starters, Duckweed needs only 3 things to grow: still water, sunlight and rotting organic matter. Fish poop works. So would those leaves piling up at the White Street Landfill. You know, the leaves the City spends a $Million Dollars a year or more picking up.

And for you car guys out there: the alcohol derived from Duckweed is Methanol, not Ethanol. Methanol doesn't cause the problems with older engines that Ethanol is known for and produces more horsepower. That's why Methanol is used in high performance fuels.

By using the investment options I laid out in Part 3 Greensboro could be going a long ways towards reducing poverty, reducing unemployment and making Greensboro sustainable. The potential as a pellet fuel alone is staggering and if anyone is interested in Duckweed as Human food we've 2 options: Import Wolffia arrhiza from Asia as breeding stock... Import my big ol hairy butt, you can order it from Amazon or a hundred other sources as it's been here so long it's become naturalized. Or buy the patented duckweed clones. Left to my own devises I'd take the former.

But wait, Duckweed doesn't stop there. Besides feed, fuel and all the things mentioned in the video, Duckweed also makes great fertilizer-- even better when you add the waste and byproducts from those fish you've been harvesting from beneath the Duckweed.

In Part 7 I'll tell you about a companion plant to Duckweed. You see, you end poverty and stop hunger by putting people to work planting the seeds, not by talking about it.