PUBLISHED BY ANNIE GILBERTSON ON 06 JUL 2011 06:59PM
We’ve all heard of hybrid cars and bio-diesel engines, but a farm on wheels? Actually, it’s more of a greenhouse on wheels, powered by corn oil and built by students just out of high school.
In a barn in Oxford, Sterling Harper atteched a solar panel to the hood of a yellow bus. He turned to Daniel Eisler, another G6 member, short for the Green six, and asked if the panel would withstand wind pressure when the bus gets going.
And it has to get going.
The young men will be making their first stop at Fondren After 5 in Jackson. The members of G6 met at the Mississippi School for Math and Science. They’re ambitious guys. Upon graduation, G6 wanted to convert an old school bus to bio-diesel and tour the country, camping along the way. But a former teacher heard about the project and asked if they wanted to partner with the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute.
Gaining Ground had a blueprint in the works for a farm on wheels as an educational tool. The groups teamed up and synced ideas.
“There’s going to be about a foot and a half of soil where you are standing inside,” said Daneil Eisler. ”There will be dwarf trees, a small fig trees, blueberries, strawberries, and there will be an irrigation system, a chicken coop, a compost bin and probably another incubator.”
The G6 team members leared to install and maintain all technological aspects, pulling from high school ecology and physics lessons. They’re hoping to give the young and old alike an experience they can see, touch, taste and … smell?
“Well it will smell like a farm,” said Eisler. “But that’s just part of it!”
The irrigation system will help keep the farm fresh, and will allow for interactive lessons about the water cycle. Classes will be simple for younger students, think what plants need to survive, but will get more involved for high school students and adults, for example how a bio-diesel engine works. Even the pipes from the fuel tank to the engine are clear to give a visual component.
Most of the G6 members will be headed off to college come fall, but one member is hoping to stick around as an intern, driving the farm to schools that wouldn’t otherwise have access to an environmental education. But this summer the guys will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, taking the bus across country with the message that even rural Mississippi is ripe for change.
G6 members include: Robert “Bobby” Glenn, Tyler “T-Crutch” Crutcher, Sterling Harper, Daniel Eisler, Ryan Chapman and DavidLiang. More at http://msmobilefarm.com.
Listen to the full interview and see photos at MPB Online!