Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Sequestering carbon deliciously.

Off Shore

Off Topic Member
Jul 6, 2015
997
5,104
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
The island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua is formed from two volcanoes joined at the bases by a narrow isthmus. One of these volcanoes, Concepción, is active with periodic eruptions of smoke and ash. The other, Maderas, hasn't erupted for ~40,000 years, and has a small lake in its crater. Ometepe is home to about 35,000 inhabitants who make their living either doing or supporting agriculture or, in recent years, tourism.

The top third of Maderas is covered in a tropical montane cloud forest, where moisture gathered by winds from the lake is captured by the trees, feeding five year-round streams. Below the cloud forest is a savanna forest, that is seasonally dry. From the late 1800s through the 1960s, this area was used for coffee production. A direct hit on the island in 1972 by Hurricane Irene-Olivia devastated the cafetales, and the 1979 revolution effectively ended coffee production as markets were embargoed and production shifted to food for a wartime economy.

In 1988 I visited one of the farms on Maderas that had been converted into a cooperative made up of formerly-landless workers who had lived there for generations. I was part of a small group from Bainbridge Island in Washington State that was seeking an alternative to the rhetoric and reality of the semi-declared war then underway. One of the many outcomes of that visit was a decision by the Bainbridge group to import and sell coffee from Ometepe. You can find out how that led to clean drinking water for a third of the island's population here*. That decision probably saved coffee as a crop on the island but the annual production is small and parts of the savanna forest are increasingly being cleared and used for annual crops.

Our 21 acre (8.4 ha) property is in this zone, officially designated as a buffer zone to protect the cloud forest. For the past ~40 years it has been used as pasturage. We hope to work with Nicaraguan and international schools to facilitate agroforestry research with residential programs and ongoing projects. We also hope to induce other owners of land in the buffer zone of the volcano to emulate us by offering them state-of-the-art processing facilities for coffee, cacao and citrus that can help them (and us) keep more of the value-chain for these products inside the country. The planned roof area for buildings needed for these activities is about 1k m^2 (to correct my earlier number). In place of roofing we're planning to use solar panels (search for "solar carports" to get examples). Adding batteries and Autobidder may be politically challenging but we're going to do it if we can.

A major part of our technology effort is around the production and application of biochar, or artisanally-produced charcoal. We are designing kilns to produce biochar and harvest the heat to dry our ag products. Our goal is to sequester 60 tonnes of biochar per hectare over a 20-year period. At present we've invited farmers to plant corn and beans to reduce soil compaction, and we've begun planting our mid-story trees, inga edulis, and have our top-story, samanea saman, in the nursery. We're also working with members of the local community to improve a primitive road to the farm.

What does this have to do with Tesla? Apart from panels, batteries and Autobidder, and apart from one or two of the Cybertruck reservations being for use on the farm, I'm having nagging deja vú of a time in the '80s when old guys (like I am now) came into my computer store. They'd say "I didn't work with this stuff in my career, but I need to know about it now so I can keep up!" I feel the same way about AI-vision, neural networks in general and how they will impact our project.

*Full disclosure: I am an officer of the 501(c)(3) Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association. If you somehow find your way to a part of the web site where you can acquire some of the aforementioned coffee I will not personally benefit, unless you count being gratified. Further disclosure: It appears the story of changing coffee into water isn't so easy to find on the web site. Over the first decade of coffee sales in the 1990s the profits provided materials and engineering and community members provided tens of thousands of hours of labor to create nine gravity-fed water systems that now serve more than 15,000 people.
 

kelly

Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
188
743
phoenix, Arizona
The island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua is formed from two volcanoes joined at the bases by a narrow isthmus. One of these volcanoes, Concepción, is active with periodic eruptions of smoke and ash. The other, Maderas, hasn't erupted for ~40,000 years, and has a small lake in its crater. Ometepe is home to about 35,000 inhabitants who make their living either doing or supporting agriculture or, in recent years, tourism.

The top third of Maderas is covered in a tropical montane cloud forest, where moisture gathered by winds from the lake is captured by the trees, feeding five year-round streams. Below the cloud forest is a savanna forest, that is seasonally dry. From the late 1800s through the 1960s, this area was used for coffee production. A direct hit on the island in 1972 by Hurricane Irene-Olivia devastated the cafetales, and the 1979 revolution effectively ended coffee production as markets were embargoed and production shifted to food for a wartime economy.

In 1988 I visited one of the farms on Maderas that had been converted into a cooperative made up of formerly-landless workers who had lived there for generations. I was part of a small group from Bainbridge Island in Washington State that was seeking an alternative to the rhetoric and reality of the semi-declared war then underway. One of the many outcomes of that visit was a decision by the Bainbridge group to import and sell coffee from Ometepe. You can find out how that led to clean drinking water for a third of the island's population here*. That decision probably saved coffee as a crop on the island but the annual production is small and parts of the savanna forest are increasingly being cleared and used for annual crops.

Our 21 acre (8.4 ha) property is in this zone, officially designated as a buffer zone to protect the cloud forest. For the past ~40 years it has been used as pasturage. We hope to work with Nicaraguan and international schools to facilitate agroforestry research with residential programs and ongoing projects. We also hope to induce other owners of land in the buffer zone of the volcano to emulate us by offering them state-of-the-art processing facilities for coffee, cacao and citrus that can help them (and us) keep more of the value-chain for these products inside the country. The planned roof area for buildings needed for these activities is about 1k m^2 (to correct my earlier number). In place of roofing we're planning to use solar panels (search for "solar carports" to get examples). Adding batteries and Autobidder may be politically challenging but we're going to do it if we can.

A major part of our technology effort is around the production and application of biochar, or artisanally-produced charcoal. We are designing kilns to produce biochar and harvest the heat to dry our ag products. Our goal is to sequester 60 tonnes of biochar per hectare over a 20-year period. At present we've invited farmers to plant corn and beans to reduce soil compaction, and we've begun planting our mid-story trees, inga edulis, and have our top-story, samanea saman, in the nursery. We're also working with members of the local community to improve a primitive road to the farm.

What does this have to do with Tesla? Apart from panels, batteries and Autobidder, and apart from one or two of the Cybertruck reservations being for use on the farm, I'm having nagging deja vú of a time in the '80s when old guys (like I am now) came into my computer store. They'd say "I didn't work with this stuff in my career, but I need to know about it now so I can keep up!" I feel the same way about AI-vision, neural networks in general and how they will impact our project.

*Full disclosure: I am an officer of the 501(c)(3) Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association. If you somehow find your way to a part of the web site where you can acquire some of the aforementioned coffee I will not personally benefit, unless you count being gratified. Further disclosure: It appears the story of changing coffee into water isn't so easy to find on the web site. Over the first decade of coffee sales in the 1990s the profits provided materials and engineering and community members provided tens of thousands of hours of labor to create nine gravity-fed water systems that now serve more than 15,000 people.
Thank you for sharing this! I found my way to Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association and bought some coffee. Best wishes to all of you involved in this project.
 

Off Shore

Off Topic Member
Jul 6, 2015
997
5,104
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Thank you for sharing this! I found my way to Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association and bought some coffee. Best wishes to all of you involved in this project.
The Sister Islands Association's projects continue, though changed for now by Covid-19. Our agroforestry project is a for-profit registered in Nicaragua. Our CEO is a sixth-generation islander whose coffee and cacao roots go back nearly as far. Our CTO is roastmaster for one of the Pacific Northwest's oldest coffee brands. And what organization doesn't need a retired IT admin, where half of what you know is obsolete every 18 months?
 

aubreymcfato

Supporting Member
Sep 16, 2016
1,109
8,530
Italy
Thank you @Off Shore!
Please update us on the project.
The "solar + storage micropowerplant" is something that will interest me a lot in the future, probably after 2030, or maybe even before.
In my dreams, it's a great way to invest some tesla money for an income that it's both ethical and impactful.
Every tip is appreciated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kelly

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top