The following is information on Corn Stoves, the most energy efficient and one of the cheapest ways to get heat! Currently, local corn stove users get their corn from the Save Our Sky Home-Heating Cooperative (Located in Takoma Park) or the Preserve Our Planet Corn Cooperative (Mt. Rainier) (POPCorn). The POPCorn bin is located behind the Mt. Rainier Bike Co-Op (back of the Fire Station near the parking lot). Read below!
Why would I want to burn corn to heat my home? By burning corn, you can protect the environment, and support a local farmerand sustainable agriculture.
What is the corn coop?The corn coop, also known as the “Save Our Sky Home-Heating Cooperative" (which the Preserve Our Plan it part of) is an organization of DC-area households which purchases and stores corn in an urban grain storage unit to make it more convenient and affordable to burn corn as a primary heating source.
How can I save money by burning corn?Most members spend from $200 – $500 per heating season. Depending on the other heating system in your house and how much corn you burn, you can save anywhere from a couple hundred to several hundred dollars per year, especially compared with the rising cost of natural gas, oil and electricity. Many of our members use a corn stove (or two) as their primary or only heating source, and can expect to spend about $3-5 a day to heat their homes.
How can I help protect the environment by burning corn?Pretty much any type of fuel that you burn to heat your home releases carbon dioxide (CO2), the most common green house gas that contributes to global warming. When you burn corn, it releases no more CO2 than it absorbed while it was growing. In fact, it releases LESS CO2 than it absorbed because much of it is still stored in the plant stalk and the roots in the ground. Compare that to burning a fossil fuels, where you are releasing all the stored up CO2 and creating more global warming pollution.
How can I support a local farmer & sustainable agriculture by burning corn? While much of the corn grown in the US using conventional methods is very energy, fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide intensive, the corn we purchase for the corn coop comes from a Mennonite farmer in Mt Airy, MD. It is Non-GMO, organically fertilized, and grown using a “no-till” method which minimizes soil erosion and keeps more climate-warming carbon dioxide locked in the soil.
Where is the UGS? There are two bins. One is in Takoma Park and the Other is in Mt. Rainier behind the firestation on Rt. 1. You will see it in the backyard of the Mt. Rainier Bike Co-Op.
How much does a corn stove cost? And where can I buy one locally? Depending on the size, quality and number of extra features; corn stoves, boilers & furnaces can range from $1,500 to over $4,000. Most decent models start around $2,000. You can usually find a list of dealers on manufacturers’ websites. You can try Maryland Corn Stoves (www.marylandcornstoves.com) or contact other local dealers.
Where can I put the stove in my house?Many people get inserts to put into current fireplaces. However, one neat thing about corn (or pellet) stoves is that most can be vented directly through an exterior wall (like a dryer) without need for a chimney. You can usually place the stove a couple of inches from a wall and often the unit itself is cool enough to touch or place plants on, except for a limited area where the flame is visible and where the heat comes out. So, you really have a lot of flexibility in determining where you want the stove to go. The more centrally it’s located, the better for heat distribution.
Why would I want to join your cooperative? Convenience is the main reason. If you’ve got a corn stove or will get one, you’ll need a convenient source for fuel. The cooperative will help you get that fuel more cheaply and with less effort and hassle than having to go to a remote farm or feed store.
How much does it cost to join?There is a one-time $100 fee to join the cooperative and a $25 renewal fee for each year after, plus the cost of the corn that you burn.
How many members do you have? Are there other corn coops? In the few years since the corn cooperative was started, we have steadily increased our membership by about 10 households per year. As of Spring 2006 we have about 45 members, and we are actively looking to expand, both in Takoma Park and by starting nearby sister cooperatives in areas that have about 5-10 interested households. We are seeking out potential locations for the next silo(s). Currently, we are exploring interest in both the Baltimore area and in the Hyattsville/Mount Rainier area.