Thursday, May 15, 2008

Veggie oil car fuel

Hello there,

It's six a.m., and I just came back from turning on irrigation in our herb/flower plot. Yesterday Matt finished setting up aluminum piping with overhead sprinklers, which we're gonna use until we have time to get the trenches between the garden beds properly shaped to use for flood irrigation. It's such a relief to have the piping in place for now -- trenching is a lot of work, and there's too much work in general right now to really do that in a timely way. We've got about ten flats of flowers sitting outside, waiting to be transplanted. And more inside the greenhouse that will go in soon.

The weather has changed dramatically, and we are supposed to have record high temperatures in the next few days. It also feels like the days have gotten much longer recently, with it being light enough to work at 5 a.m. now, although five-thirty is maybe a more realistic time to start.

....I've been working on setting up a way to collect and filter used vegetable oil from local restaurants to fuel my car. Last night in Jacksonville I stopped by a new restaurant, "Jazushi," and arranged to pick up their oil, which is very clean to begin with, which is great. The only downside is that they only use about 30 gallons of oil per month, although that could increase if the place gets popular and they have more orders for tempura. I'm doing this with Jen, a friend of Full Bloom who lives in Ashland and also has a car that runs on veggie oil. So it would mean about 15 gallons/month for each of us, which is about 300 miles worth of fuel for my car. Which isn't bad, actually. They have a 55-gallon drum in the back that they dump their used oil into, so now Jen and I have to figure out how transfer the oil into something we can transport back to her house. Probably we would put a bedsheet over the drum behind the restaurant so that the oil gets pre-filtered before we even pick it up.

I've been hearing that most of the restaurants in the area have been asked by various individuals or companies to give them their oil. And that's been reflected in the calls I've been making to places in Ashland and Medford -- almost all of them are spoken for, and only two maybes -- places where I couldn't get ahold of someone who knew whether their restaurant had their veggie oil available. Alot of the restaurants are giving their oil to companies who convert it to biodiesel, and some folks are using it like me, just filtering it and then pumping it into their car as purified veggie oil.

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