Well, in all honesty, the seeds haven't sprouted (just the project). However after weeks of heavy Midwestern rain, the soil was finally dry enough to plant the native grasses that will eventually serve as one of many fiber test subjects to make Agri-Fiber paper. On the University of Illinois' Sustainable Student Farm, a venture my student's help brand in 2010, farm manger Zack Grant and myself broadcast around 1,000 square feet of native Central Illinois grasses including Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, and Purple Coneflower yesterday.
(Zack surveys the land)
(Zack on his 100% electric tractor)
As we wait for agricultural waste from the autumn harvest to materialize, we are investigating native grasses as a possible source for artisan paper and packaging material (amongst other ideas). The grasses themselves won't be ready to harvest until early August, however we do have some existing dried soybean waste and other fibers through papermakers here in Central Illinois. As the summer progresses I will be providing updates to the project.
Until then, if you would like to be involved further in this project, send me a message!