Project Description

Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts is a seventh-generation family farm, founded in the early 1800s. The farm is a member of the Cabot Creamery/Agri-Mark Cooperative. To sustain the farm for future generations, the Barstow family pursued an opportunity to house one of the first anaerobic digesters in New England.

The Vanguard Renewables Farm Powered anaerobic digester partnership with Barstow’s Longview Farm began in 2013. With the expansion of the anaerobic digester project in 2016, it is one of the largest and most modern anaerobic digestion systems in New England.

The farm receives nearly 24,000 tons of food waste annually from food and beverage processors, supermarkets, institutions, businesses, and food service operations such as Cabot Creamery/Agri-Mark Cooperative, Geissler’s Supermarkets, HP Hood, and Garelick. The food waste is combined with more than 9000 tons of manure a year from the farm in a 600,000-gallon digestion tank. Manure and food waste are mixed and microorganisms convert sugars, fats, and other compounds into biogas annually producing more than 5,100 MWh of renewable energy and 30,000 tons of low-carbon fertilizer. The facility offsets nearly 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is equivalent to taking 650 cars of the road for one year.

Barstow’s Longview Farm receives energy to power the farm and hot water to heat farm buildings and family homes. The farm also benefits by retaining the fertile, low carbon digestate fertilizer remaining from the process, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and increasing crop yields.

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FARM FACTS

  • 450-acre dairy farm with 550 cows
  • Founded in early 1800s
  • Produces 15,000 lbs. of milk daily
  • Opened Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery in 2008
  • Located in the Hockanum National Historic District,
    Route 47, Hadley, Mass.

DIGESTER FACTS

  • Built 2013; Expanded in 2016
  • 660,000-gallon capacity

FARM BENEFITS

  • Income diversification
  • Low-carbon fertilizer reducing the need for chemical fertilizers
  • Reduced energy cost
  • Free heat
  • Odor reduction
  • Increased corn and hay crop yields
  • Enhanced nutrient management plan

Annual Digester Input

9,125 tons of manure
24,000 tons of food waste

Annual Digester Output

Powers two engines totaling 800kW
Produces more than 5,100 MWh of renewable energy/year
Produces 30,000 tons of low-carbon fertilizer
Offsets nearly 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually; the equivalent
of the CO2 emissions from taking 650 cars off the road for one year

Provides energy to the Eversource grid and Cabot Creamery/Agri-Mark Cooperative

Barstow’s Longview Farm in the News

Farmers Benefit from Farm Powered Anaerobic Digestion

Farmers talk about the benefits of hosting a Farm Powered anaerobic digester on their farm including a diversified income stream to sustain the farm for future generations. They also reflect on overall benefits to the farm including regenerative agriculture best practices, increased crop yields and milk production, herd health, greenhouse gas reduction, manure management, and community relations.

PBS NewsHour Waste Not

In the final episode of the special series this week on food waste, PBS News Hour series "Waste Not, Want Not" looks at some innovative solutions being developed to deal with the growing problem of spoiled and surplus food in this country. Special correspondent Allison Aubrey visited a state where dairy farmers are using it to power their farms and more.

My Turn: For dairy farmers, every day is Earth Day

Millions of people around the world will soon celebrate Earth Day, but for hundreds of New England’s dairy farmers, every day is Earth Day. We might take this Earth Day to salute the region’s dairy farmers for their original thinking and endless ingenuity.