A Walnut Blog

Anything and everything related to Walnut Iowa.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wind Power: New Shade of Green Dominates Iowa Landscape

...in Walnut, Iowa--a small town of 900 residents--it's clear that the arrival of a new green industry has had more far-reaching effects than simply the number of jobs directly created by the wind farm.

From Part one of a two-part Atlantic.com article:

A capricious Mother Nature, brandishing weapons of deluge, drought, scorching heat, and frost, has long possessed a power to destroy the livelihood of farming families populating small prairie towns like Walnut, Iowa. In a state where more than 85 percent of the land is devoted to agricultural purposes, talking about the weather represents a culturally-ingrained aspect of discourse. But these days the focus of that conversation is changing in Walnut, home to the state's newest large-scale wind farm.

"The conversation when you're out for coffee now is: 'You think the wind is blowing enough to get 'em going today?,'" Leo Rechtenbach says, referring to the 102 wind turbines that sprouted from fields and pastures of his rural community in the past year. Leo and his wife, Jeanette, belong to a growing population of Iowa wind farmers. These people don't actually have to perform any kind of sunburnt backbreaking toil resembling traditional farming; they just have to rent small parcels of their land to an energy company, then sit back and watch as the modernistic windmills shoot up from the earth like albino sunflowers hybridized with Jack's beanstalk.

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