St. Anthony Farm and Foundation and Clover Stornetta
State of the Art Energy Efficiency and a new Organic
a few miles west of Petaluma sits a 315 acre farm with
just over 250 certified organic cows, developing an
organic, artisan buttery for dairy processor Clover
Stornetta. However this is just one of the many locally
owned dairy farms that meet the exceptional standards
of the Clover Stornetta group. The St. Anthony Farm,
Clover Stornetta's partner in the production of its
first organic artisan buttery exists not only to launch
their most sophisticated product to date, it continues
to be an energy efficient, state of the art dairy committed
to restoring lives in the community as well.
on Images to enlarge and caption
St. Anthony Farm, run soley by the St. Anthony Foundation,
quietly works in the background to rebuild lives through
their acclaimed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
1950, the Foundation in San Francisco has served over
32 million free meals and assisted the poor with clothing,
housing and healing of both body and spirit. The Farm
is the extension of that work, providing a free residential
drug and alcohol recovery program for men. During the
6 month program, participants work in an organic garden
on the grounds, in the facility kitchen, or in the commercial
dairy. At the conclusion of the 6 month program, participants
can continue to stay at the farm and become part of
an internship program and learn skills about working
in the creamery.
farm produces 1800 gallons of organic milk each day
that is processed by Clover Stornetta. Just recently
the Farm entered into an agreement with Clover to establish
a state of the art Organic Artisan Buttery.
the heart of this brand new state of the art facility
is a Bio Digester.
BioDigester is a system that processes cow waste into
methane gas and turns that into electricity. The material
is collected and placed into an above ground 2.5 million
gallon tightly sealed and covered lagoon. The 17,000
cubic feet per day of rising methane rich biogas is
captured and combusted in an 80 kilowatt generator that
will power the dairy and the organic buttery. This new
equipment will reduce energy costs and cut the emissions
of methane (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere. The
energy savings are expected to be around $42,000 per
year, or almost 60% of the annual electricity bill.
“With the bio-digester," says operation manager
Cathleen Moller, “we anticipate a substantial
savings in utility costs by producing our own electricity
as well as by using a heat exchanger to pre-heat the
water for our creamery."
is not known exactly how long it will take the Bio Digester
to produce all of St.Anthonyís electrical needs,
and fortunately the financial picture is not dictated
by the day to day operations of the St. Anthony Foundation.
Rather it is a representation of the serious effort
by ranchers, dairies and manufacturers in the food sector
alike to continually work towards new renewable energy
sources for the future.