Twenty Mile South Farm

May 19, 2018 - Net Zero

The first excursion the Livability Ambassadors took was a tour of the city's Twenty Mile South Farm. The tour included expert background information from Ben Nydegger, tour of the net zero commercial building, visit to the biosolid holding silos, guided tour of the active growing fields, compost facility overview, and a facilitated deeper dive- big picture- cohort conversation.

large truck

What is the Twenty Mile South Farm?

The city owns and operates a 4225-acre farm that receives the solid waste that gets separated at the two main water renewal facilities (commonly known as wastewater treatment plants), Lander and West Boise. After processing, the solid waste -biosolids- act as a rich fertilizer and are used to grow animal feed crops that are then sold, with the resulting revenue helping to offset the costs for the entire water renewal utilities.

Group of people
Ambassadors exploring the farm
man talking to group
Ben Nydegger giving a tour
Building on farm
Net Zero building on Twenty Mile South Farm

A new facility was recently opened on the farm, consisting of an office building, maintenance shop, parts warehouse and mechanic shop, and was designed to be energy neutral; in other words, it offsets the energy consumed on-site with energy produced using solar panels and a geothermal ground loop energy system used for heating and cooling help make the building more efficient. The farm building is Idaho’s first commercial net-zero building and is a model and educational tool demonstrating how to design more energy efficient buildings.

Not only does it serve as a place that processes bio solids, but Twenty Mile South Farm also houses our compost facility which has received ~50 million pounds of organics, diverted from the landfill, that have been turned into high quality compost and given back to the community.

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