we've got gas!
Good times on the weekend. On Sunday the brand new biogas plant in our little town held an open house. We decided to get in on the fun by walking over to take a look.
This is a pretty flat, rural area and there are walkways between most of the fields. Only pedestrians, bikes and farming vehicles allowed. If you don't watch your back at all times you run the risk of getting run over by a tractor. That's country life for ya.
We thought it would take us about a half hour to get there but we ended up going for 45 minutes since the plant is right on the edge of town and we just happen to live on the other edge.
This is where the journey starts.
If hiking through the fields in the blazing hot sun isn't your idea of fun, you can always follow that brown sign pointing to the left and end up at the friendly neighbourhood brothel aka "erotic hotel". Uh huh. I've never been there but I hear it's very nice. Isn't Germany progressive?
Also to the left is a more innocent view of the old sugar factory with yet another small town behind it.
But there were no detours allowed and so we trudged on and on
If you'd been with us you would have seen wild flowers along the way
And many a tasty vegetable set out in neat rows
Cauliflower in the making
The railway crossing is always a highlight because it means you're halfway there.
And finally (finally!), just when you think you can't stand it a minute longer, the biogas plant, lovingly know by the common folk as The Three Nipples, comes into view.
Basically, they're taking corn and turning it into biogas (methane) which is then piped into the natural gas line for Hannover. Wow. What a feat. There's a lot of controversy surrounding this type of process, but we're not going to start a debate on the pros and cons here.
Here's a closer view of one of the three containers
The shredded corn is kept in large compressed piles outside and is gradually fed into the first container to start the fermentation process. And no, it doesn't smell as bad as people thought it would.
For privacy reasons I'm unable to post any more pictures here, but it was a very interesting tour and I have to say I was impressed even if I may not entirely agree with the idea of using food for fuel. Ahem.
The sizzling 45 minute walk back brought me a killer migraine (and stripey feet thanks to my sandals!) and I had to lie down for the rest of the afternoon. The good side to that was that the hour and a half of power walking meant that I didn't need to use the cross trainer that day, and that's a good thing.