Grower Direct Farms Switches To Biomass
SOMERS — — When fuel prices shot through the roof three years ago, the owners of Grower Direct Farms, a family-owned wholesale grower, wilted at the sight of their annual heating oil bill.
While the average New England home consumes about 800 gallons of heating oil a year, the grower's "spread" — 18 acres of covered greenhouses, the equivalent of 18 football fields, burned 500,000 gallons of heating oil each year, said Sam Smith, the company's general manager. But this year, they reduced oil consumption by 450,000 by switching to a biomass system fed by wood chips. Their annual fuel costs droppd by nearly 70 percent.
Tuesday, officials from the USDA toured the company's greenhouses... read on