Today was a big day. We woke up in the youth hostel in Pki’in, and after a big breakfast, walked across the town to the internationally renowned cosmetic store Gamillas Secret famous for their herb medleys. Today was the windiest day of our trip, with a little bit of rain. During the walk we were able to explore the town more and see exquisite architecture and beautiful fruit trees that were grown inside the town, especially lemon trees.
At 10:00, we left Pki’in for our next adventure at Klil- an off-grid, eco-community settlement located in Western Galilee. Upon arrival, we met our wonderful host and founder of the company HomeBiogas, Yair Teller. As we drank tea in the communal guest house, we learned about the foundation of the off-grid eco-settlement, and what daily life could be like. The primary goal of the settlement was for the people to be close to the earth, to do this, none of the houses were made to be permanent. The settlement was very different from any of the farms we had previously visited, and acted very differently from a kibbutz, as all families lived independently from each other in comparison to a Kibbutz. Next, we walked over to Yair’s house, where we drank our first ever biogas tea(!) and heard from Yair how he founded HomeBiogas.
Next, we walked to the neighbors property and learned how he worked with the landscape to increase the soil and create green land with 40 trees on his area. We then returned to the guesthouse and ate an incredible lunch with two salads, Kubbeh Salek (beet) soup, and mujadara that was prepared for us.
Next, we had had a great surprise- Yair offered the rare and exciting opportunity to get some hands on experience and set up a HomeBiogas system and toilet at the Klil communal bathroom! The first step was attach the 4(?) separate biogas components to the main digester, a VERY easy and straightforward process. Next, we had to collectively decide the best place to situate the HomeBiogas digester so that it was on a) level ground, and b) close enough the tubing could reach the indoor toilet. After we chose our spot, we removed the rocks, shoveled, and added compost to make the ground as even as possible. Next, we filled 30 bags of soil, as we filled the biogas digester up with water. When the biogas digester was filled with water, we added the bags of soil into the flaps on the top part of the system to act as weights. Lastly, we collected sheep manure from the neighboring farm, mixed it 1/2 with water, and poured the solution into the system. At this time of day, it was getting quite dark, and upon deciding it would get messy if we continued working in the dark, decided to call it for that day.
After the long day, we reheated the fantastic lunch we had and listened the album Cosmic Journey, performed by community member Noam Teller as we fell asleep in sleeping bags next to a fire in the communal room. When we woke up the next morning, we did not have time to further work on the HomeBiogas, however, to complete the system and have the biogas toilet working would have only required attaching the system to the toilet and only a couple of more simple jobs. It was a great experience to set up HomeBiogas with the creator, and seeing how easy it was to to build a working biodigestor I am now motivated more than ever to incorporate biogas into my future!