The Temecula Olive Oil Company located right outside of San Diego, California has a little over 7 acres of Mission olive trees. Thom Curry manages the olive oil company and production, and started the business with his wife Nancy over 10 years ago. Making olive oil and managing a a grove of trees sounds interesting, but the real interest is in what is done with the scraps that don't make it into the company's well-regarded culinary oil.
Only about 20 percent of the olive is actually used to produce the oil, which leaves quite a bit of skin, pits and unprocessed flesh. It is this residual waste oil that the Currys extract and filter into the diesel engine tractors used out on the property. Since they started, the Currys have seen more neighboring farmers in the area employ this waste-to-fuel processing method. Employing the use of the waste product has allowed the company to become mere self-sustaining. Unfortunately, the company hasn't seen significant financial savings, but the rewards of doing their bit to help save the environment have been worth it.
The husband-and-wife team has also experimented with other potential biofuels from plants processed on their property. They have experimented with making ethanol out of cattails grown on their property and using olive pits to stoke fire boilers used.
Sustainable Oil-Guzzling Tractors
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