Over the past few days Team Bioride has become involved in nearly every facet of ranching life here at Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts. From stocking the wood pile in the face of on coming winter to caring for horses and rebuilding hurricane damaged chicken coops - the Team is developing and honing skills and learning to appreciate a lifestyle that is closer to the natural world.
It is not surprising to learn that an understanding of alternative energy and biofuels is an inherent part of the subsistence and rural lifestyle. And while the people living in these settings may lack the scientific lexicon to describe these concepts they are extremely savvy to the processes, requirements and affects that alternative energy and biofuels play in their lives. Fire wood creates energy when it's burned and heats homes and in many places provides the energy needed to cook, brew and produce a myriad of products essential to daily living. In addition, agricultural waste, grass, saw dust and wood chips can be pelletized and turned into a much simpler, and convenient, solid fuel. This is not a new technology for the rural communities of the world it's simply how things are done.
And of course the concept and usage of alternative energy goes hand in hand with the practice of recycling. At Cloud Creek Ranch the Team has learned that nothing goes to waste. Manures are gathered and mixed into the compost, only trees downed by storms are cut and used as firewood and everything is scrutinized for it's re-usability before it is deemed "garbage" and transported to the Yellville recycling collection point.
Recycling, 'Leave No Trace', and environment compassion are the driving principles and inspiration behind the BIOIRIDE2008 Project. Everyday on the road the Team learns a greater appreciation and understanding of these values and the skills that are required to incorporate these principles into our lives. Every community and family that we visit displays an understanding of environment impact and it is heartening to see that everyone, in their own way, are making strides to ensure that that impact is as positive and sustainable as possible.