Monday 17th February – Let’s Get Cracking

February 27, 2014

 

Meet Thorsten 6:30 and he shows us around the AD plant and takes us through the process. The first thing to do every day is visually check all of the digesters for the level, whether they’ve a foam capping and that the pumps aren’t flooded before checking there is a temperature difference across the activated charcoal H2S filter, which indicates it’s operating. Once these checks are complete, then it is breakfast. Today with all of the explanations, I think we were a little late (around 8).

After breakfast the first job was with Christian, who is the only non-family member that works on the farm full-time. We have to peel the covering for the silage back which involves lugging some pretty heavy sand bags across a pretty slippery tarpaulin on or near the edge of a 15-20ft pile of shifting silage. It’s not as bad as I first thought though, even if carrying the sandbags up to the middle of the pile is a bugger as they just drag you back down towards the side. While I’m on top of the pile Tim gets stuck in with the shovel moving a hefty amount of silage that’s fallen down the crack next to the corn which is bagged in a sausage (Thorsten’s description, not mine). Christian and I first re-secure the covering and then move on to rolling up the netting. Christian seems a good character and despite both only being able to understand a little of what is said we manage to coordinate the nets and he shows me the three different kinds of poop on site, including the freshly delivered chicken. Surprisingly they don’t smell too badly. Honest!

Yep. That is a lotta...

Yep. That is a lotta…

After this I grab a shovel to help Tim finish moving the silage and then after a good amount of shovelling, making us feel like we’ve earned it, it’s lunch. Mittagsessen for the veggies is spaghetti with spinach, onion and olive oil, which I thought was pretty damn tasty especially with a walnut cake for dessert.

After lunch we start on the measurements in the laboratory that Thorsten has built, but a representative from the gas analyser company arrives and we join while he shows how it works, and we get to play too.

The fermenter...it's pretty big!

The fermenter…it’s pretty big!

Then we’re let loose to do the analysis (temperature, gas analysis, solid analysis, FOS and TAC) for the fermenter and the first two digesters/ storage tanks (nachgaerer). This takes the remainder of afternoon but we finish it with some time to spare before dinner so a necessary shower is taken before we sit down with the family again.

For dinner we have the choice of more spaghetti or rye bread with cheese/ jam/ meat which isn’t much of a contest for me really. I mean, the rye bread here is pretty special but who wouldn’t want spinach. Oh, spinach spinach spinach. Oh, and the pasta was with salad too – wouldn’t want you thinking I was deprived of my greens while over here.

After dinner I managed to catch up on a few emails to maintain touch with the homeland but it didn’t take long for the effects of the long day to set in and soon I was curled up on my air bed which is surprisingly comfortable. What is about Germany, why is everything better here?

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One Response to “Monday 17th February – Let’s Get Cracking”

  1. sampickard said

    Reblogged this on Overland to the Far East: A better way to travel ? and commented:

    First poop experience of the fortnight. Well, sort of…okay, how about: first animal poop experience of the fortnight…BETTER NOW? (Pedants!)

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