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Farmer builds “zero-carbon”, er, farm

872228_face_to_face.jpgGreenbang’s gotta brand new (hybrid) combine harvester, and he’ll give you the (recyled) key.

Ooh aaagh.

Organic farmer Malcolm Breckons and his wife Barbara are building a sustainabale farmhouse and working farm at Bellingham, Northumberland (that’s in north England).

It might be “carbon neutral” but Greenbang wants to know if Farmer Breckons will have cows on his land.

If so, how do will he stop all that methane escaping when they bottom burp? It’s a serious problem the US is really worried about. Greenbang isn’t joking.

In any case, the Co-op Bank has helped them get the farm up and running with £650,000 “funding”.

We’re a bit unsure, when it says “funding” if that means “loan” or “handout”. But you rarely hear of banks giving freebies, do you?

Anyway – hats of to them.

The couple wanted to create a “green” environment for themselves and their family, 22-year-old Alan and 15-year-old Rebecca – and hope that they will hand on the farm and its landmark home to their offspring.

The Breckons are living in an ecologically-sound log cabin while the farm is under construction.  It is due for completion in February 2008.

When completed, the farm will boast an impressive array of eco-features to provide for the electricity, water and heating needs. These features will include water and wind turbines, ground source heating, sewage treatment plant and borehole pump.

The Breckons’ farm is home to some 50 pedigree Hereford cattle and about 1,000 pedigree Texel sheep that provide organic produce.

The water turbine is submerged in a nearby stream and the wind turbine, erected on a barn, resembles the propeller of a small aircraft and is made of transparent materials. Both of these will generate sufficient electricity to power the entire farm.

The ground source heating draws warmth from the earth to heat the family home.

The farm’s water supply will come from a 100-metre deep borehole that will pump and extract water. Crucially, waste and sewage will also be disposed of in an ecologically sound manner in a sewage treatment plant that will then discharge water.

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