Tiensvold Farm is a family operated, certified organic farm of approximately 2600 acres. We produce a very diverse number of crops. These include wheat, sunflowers, blue corn, peas, alfalfa, red clover, lentils, and buckwheat, and certified organic buffalo. The farm has been certified organic since 1993. With this we include strict crop rotation with grasses, broad leaf and legumes in rotation.
Our goal in using these grant funds have been to press oil from crops produced on out farm for use as an alternative to diesel fuel. This in turn provides employment opportunities for others in the community. Extensive research was done prior to beginning this project through internet sources and seeking out experiences individuals. Farm tours have been conducted to educate others through out Organic chapter. We also have had opportunities to give one on one tours to individuals who might be interested in this project.
This has been a long and tedious project. It was very important to locate the correct equipment. This has taken a great deal of time. Most of the equipment was located on the internet and was brought in from other countries including Germany and Chine. This equipment includes expellers, filter machines and holding tanks.
First it was necessary to determine which oil seed crops would grow well in this region. The Panhandle research station among were consulted to make this decision. Then we determined the economic feasibility of these crops, taking into consideration yields, oil content, and feed value of pressed meal. It was also necessary to determine whether we could produce an alternative to diesel fuel at a cost less than commercial diesel fuel. Next we purchased the komet oil expeller and settling tanks. After initial set up we began to learn about pressing oil seeds by experimenting with different seeds and then learning how to filter the oil. It was determines we needed a larger press for greater capacity and also a filtering machine. These have now been purchased and await set up.
We have determined that we can successfully and economically produce an alternative fuel and at the same time produce a high protein meal for animal consumption. We have also learned that we needed machinery with more capacity to produce larger quantities of oil meal.
We are confident this project can benefit our farm and community. These benefits would include alternative fuel, high protein, animal feed, employment opportunities, and a market for oil seed produced locally. We hope to continue sharing information we learned from this project with other interested individuals.