Tips to Install a Methane Digester

A methane digester — also known as an anaerobic digester — can be a great source of biofuel and fertilizer.

| November 2013

Urban Crofting (Outskirts Press, 2013) is based on the lifestyle and practices of the Essenes, an ancient people that lived a sustainable existence that would be envied by many today. Cliff Williams incorporates this knowledge into a new personal, family-sized agricultural way of life that can be achieved even in an urban neighborhood. In this excerpt from the chapter "Methane Digesters," Williams gives readers valuable tips necessary to make the most of their sustainable biofuel and fertilizer generating set-ups.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Urban Crofting.

Introduction to Methane Digesters

My introduction to methane digesters became the inception of urban crofting, with methane digesters as a source of biofuel and fertilizer. Methane digesters have the potential of making a huge impact on your health. Besides the obvious biofuel aspect, methane digesters can help restore the micro-nutrients in our diet that are missing in the food chain today.

Where Urban Crofting is concerned, our new circle of life will be greatly dependent on creating a source of food for our plants. To be in balance, nutrient-rich sustenance has to flow from plants to us, and back to the plants.

Let’s re-visit the food chain that was intended to be. Mankind’s sustenance comes from plants, and plants and their sustenance comes, in part, from humans — mainly from our wastes. Simple enough on the surface, but let’s look deeper. The plants that provide nutrition for us “had” the ability to provide complete nutrition for us. All the carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, Prana (life), macro and micro nutrients, enzymes, beneficial bacteria, etc...everything our bodies needed was in vegetables, grains and fruits. Not only do plants have the ability to draw everything they need for a perfect life from the soil, they also assimilate everything that we need. Many micronutrients needed by humans are drawn up by plants even though they themselves have no need for them. Wow! Again, even though they don’t need all those micronutrients, they bring them up for our benefit. That is only if they are in the soil to begin with. This is an incredible feat that shouldn’t be overlooked.

We still need to go a little deeper into this before you have a clear picture of where we’ve gone wrong. The wrong is the fact that many of the micronutrients are gone from our food chain. Plants draw up the nutrients we need from the soil, and we return the nutrients we need to the soil with our bodily eliminations of our urine and excrement. “Matter is neither created nor destroyed, it is transferred”. The root system of plants brings up the nutrients, and they are used in the biological function and growth of the plant. The part of the plant that is of benefit to us, the plant matter, is created by the plants from soil matter. Our bodies break down the plant matter and use the ingredients for our biological function and growth. Our bodies continually grow new cells to replace dead cells, using that plant matter. The waste and dead cells are returned to the soil, where they are broken down for the next plant cycle by the topsoil. Matter is neither created nor destroyed, it is changed from one substance to another in a continuous loop, as part of the circle of life.

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