Sustainable Agriculture: Highlighting the Corn Burner

Sustainable Agriculture: Highlighting the Corn Burner

Typically, when we talk about our regenerative farming practices, we’re referring to how we build up healthy soil for healthy crops, people, and planet—and for good reason. After all, that’s at the very heart of our regenerative agricultural practices.

Today, though, we’re focusing on another part of our sustainable practices: the greenhouse-heating corn burner created through a collaborative solution.

Explaining the Challenge

The Chef’s Garden had a new greenhouse and we needed to find a way to heat it cost effectively. That wasn’t enough for us, though. We also needed an environmentally friendly solution.

Explaining Our Neighbor’s Challenge

Meanwhile, a neighboring farmer—located about a mile away—had his own challenge. He had to pay good money to have his excess corn cobs hauled away.

Sustainable Solution

So, here you have two farms, one mile apart, each with problems to solve. Fortunately, they’ve all been resolved through one extra-special collaboration. The Chef’s Garden bought those excess corn cobs, which turned the neighboring farm’s expense into a new source of revenue for them—and we now had a way to cost effectively heat our new greenhouse in an environmentally friendly way with the source of our heat delivered directly to us.

The result: reductions in both farms’ carbon footprint.

“Everybody wins,” Farmer Lee Jones says, “and nothing excites me more than the opportunity to work collectively to solve problems creatively.”

As we burn corn cobs (something typically considered waste material), fuel produced is called cellulosic ethanol—a fuel that burns cleanly.

More About Corn Cobs

Interestingly enough, the University of Delaware have been experimenting with extracting sugars from organic waste, including corn cobs, to “serve as a cheaper, sustainable substitute for the petroleum used in manufacturing tons upon tons of consumer goods annually—goods that consumers want to be greener.”

The potential for this kind of research is enormous. Products that may be more sustainably produced could include the following: “The shampoo you washed your hair with this morning. The balloons for the party. Refrigerators and sunglasses, medicine and mosquito repellent, guitar strings and fishing lures. These – and thousands of other products we use every day – contain chemicals made from petroleum. But researchers at the University of Delaware can now offer manufacturers a much sweeter alternative to this fossil fuel.”

Embracing Regenerative Practices

We invite you to scroll through the fresh vegetable boxes and more that we offer at Farmer Jones Farm. You’ll find a wide range of delicious and nutritious produce—in fact, independent research verifies that our regeneratively farmed crops have up to 500% more minerals than the USDA baseline. Diverse as the produce is, they all have one thing in common: they’re regeneratively grown, slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

We embrace traditional farming techniques and philosophies that have sustained farmers for generations. Then, because we naturally replenish our soil and give our produce time to grow, we can hand harvest and deliver produce with unrivaled flavor and quality.


1 comment


  • Chef Dan Boyer

    Lee I’ve watched you since the 80’s when you gave me a tour while was chef at Providence Hospital you never stop amazing me !


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