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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Go Green to include wood-burning pickup

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alabama farmer Wayne Keith and his wood-burning pickup will be at the Go Green event in Thayer Oct. 22. Photo/Auburn University
An Alabama farmer who has driven 200,000 miles on wood will speak at the Go Green festival in Thayer this month.

"Did you know you can run a pickup on firewood instead of gasoline --1,500 miles to the cord?" Go Green organizer Mike Slack said. "How about running your car on moonshine you make yourself, legally, or running it on vegetable oil?"

The free, two-day Go Green event is set for Oct. 22-23 in Thayer City Park and includes a host of other speakers and displays.

A main attraction will be farmer Wayne Keith and his wood-burning truck.

Keith, a tinker who once worked in law enforcement and built his own sawmill, will speak Oct. 22 about the "gasifier" he built to run on wood.

In 2008, Keith drove coast to coast twice on wood power, a total of 7,388 miles, using gasoline for startups only.

Auburn University tested Keith's gasifier and found it to be 37 percent more efficient than a gasoline-powered engine, according to Jim Hart of Thayer, president of Ozarks Green Energy Development.

Last month, Keith made an impromptu stop at Hirsh's Feed Store in Thayer while on another cross-country trip in his wood-fired 1993 Dodge Dakota.

"Once the hood was opened and the smell of burning wood was released to penetrate the air, the '93 Dodge Dakota was surrounded," Hart said in a press release. "The locals, skeptical at first, questioned Keith."

Hart said that by answering their queries, Keith had, once again, inspired a group of people into independent thinking and American ingenuity.

Wood-burning record

Also on that September trip from Alabama to the West Coast, Keith competed at the 25th annual World of Speed sponsored by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association, bringing home a new one-mile speed record for a wood-burning vehicle, 73 mph.

"Keith has proven his gasifier's efficiency, importance and usefulness at a time when fossil fuel is being used a million times faster than being created," Hart said.

Hart said he also will attend the Go Green festival to answer questions about Ozarks Green Energy, the nonprofit he and wife Kim Hart organized in 2007 to inform people about bio-energy issues.

Hart first met Keith in June at a gathering of innovators, tinkers and motorheads in Kansas, and was quickly impressed by Keith's knowledge of gasifiers. Those who attend the Go Green festival will be, too, he said.

Go Green activities

The festival also includes presentations of solar, wind, steam and animal power.

Speakers include Sue Baird, president of the Missouri Organic Association, leaders of an elderberry co-op and David Blume, author of "Alcohol Can Be a Gas."

Draft horses, wool-spinning demonstrations, herbal medicines, heritage breed hogs, dairy and meat goats, sheep, organic gardening, beekeeping, live bluegrass music all day and concert performances.

Children's activities include hay bales full of money and a petting zoo.

Admission is free for vendors and attendees. Space is available for more vendors.

If you go

Go Green runs from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 22 and noon-6 p.m. Oct. 23 next to the rodeo arena in Thayer City Park.

For information, call 417-264-2435.

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