News from the Farm!
We held a Poplar Tree Harvesting Workshop from 10 am to 3 pm on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The workshop offered the opportunity to see and learn about poplar growing practices, harvesting techniques, and use and product potential. Check out the workshop flyer and view the full workshop agenda for more details. We will be posting pictures and other materials from the workshop soon!
The Biocycle Farm is located at 29689 Awbrey Lane in Eugene, Oregon 97402
About the Biocycle Farm
The Biocycle Farm is a plantation of poplar trees owned by the MWMC. The farm is located on about 600 acres of agricultural land just west of the Biosolids Management Facility, off of Awbrey Lane in Eugene. Nearly 400 acres of poplars were planted in three different phases. The poplars are managed as an agricultural crop, and harvested and sold in the marketplace to provide revenue to offset operating expenses for the farm. Learn more about the planting and harvesting of the poplar trees on our Projects page.
A citizen advisory committee gave input on reuse options for biosolids which led the MWMC to purchase land for the Biocycle Farm, providing more effective ways for biosolids and recycled water (used for irrigation of trees) to be beneficially used.
The Benefits of Biocycle
Biocycle comes from the processing of biosolids, which are an organic by-product of the wastewater treatment process. Biocycle contains essential plant nutrients and organic matter that is used as a fertilizer and soil amendment. For the last 20 years, the MWMC has provided local grass seed growers with biocycle to fertilize their farms.
Poplar trees grow very rapidly, efficiently consuming the nutrients in the biosolids, at high rates, making the Biocycle Farm a cost-effective method for recycling a wastewater treatment by-product.
Watch a video of the first harvest of poplar trees at the farm:
Poplar Ceiling Installed in Springfield
We’re excited to announce that the installation of ceiling panels made from wood harvested from our poplar trees is complete! The new ceiling demonstrates the potential of our Biocycle Farm as a viable source of wood for producing finished products such as ceiling panels and trim to add architectural detail in local design and building projects. The demonstration project is located in the Library Meeting Room at Springfield City Hall, 225 Fifth Street. This is the same location we hold our monthly Commission meetings (except March) at 7:30 a.m. on the second Friday of each month. Interested in checking out the finished product? Attend an upcoming Commission meeting!
Poplar Trees Featured in Article
When the MWMC started seeking uses for the poplar trees at its Biocycle Farm back in 2013, we forged new relationships across the Pacific Northwest. Among these was a collaboration with Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB), a research consortium based out of Washington State University (WSU). AHB was seeking opportunities to advance the growth of poplar and willow feedstocks for a post-fossil fuel energy economy, and the MWMC was seeking opportunities to network with other growers to increase market interests in poplar products. Several years and many new friends later, the MWMC’s poplar harvest project manager Todd Miller teamed up with colleagues to collaborate on mapping the future pathway of markets for poplar and willow as a bridge to future biofuels production.
The result is WSU’s publication “A Roadmap for Poplar and Willow to Provide Environmental Services and to Build the Bioeconomy,” which includes a companion publication focused on poplar at the MWMC’s Biocycle Farm.