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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Profile: Erik Fyfe, friend of Earth and cider drinkers

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Erik Fyfe tries to live simply and do as little harm to the planet as possible. By day, he helps offset global warming through his work with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Refuel Biodiesel program. In his off hours, he harvests apples, mulberries, figs, muscadines and blackberries from city trees and bushes.

Fyfe took a year off after high school and hitchhiked through New Zealand. “I think it was during that time that I realized that I could be very happy with very little.”

While he was at Emory, he spearheaded a drive to convert 27 of the university’s diesel shuttles to B20 (20 percent biodiesel + 80 percent ultralow-sulfur diesel).

For the past three years, Fyfe and like-minded friends have thrown a Ciderfest party, pressing fruit “growing along interstate on-ramps, behind grocery stores, in vacant lots.” They use a homemade cider press and pedal-powered apple grinder.

“It gives us urban dwellers a little taste of rural life. People are always amazed at how many apples we find around Atlanta, and the event gets people talking about various old-time traditions.” (For more information about the Sept. 29 event, contact

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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