Dave Blume started his ecological training at a young age. He and his father organically grew almost all the food their family ate. This wouldn’t be unusual out in a rural setting nowadays, but they did this on a city lot in San Francisco in the mid-sixties!
Dave taught his first ecology class in 1970. He majored in Ecological Biology and Biosystematics at San Francisco State University while doing volunteer fieldwork with a number of non-profits like the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He put himself through school by teaching backpacking and wildlife biology through open universities during the summers.
In 1978, he was employed by NASA to work on an experimental solar self-sufficient energy, sewage treatment, desalinization plant in the Virgin Islands. After solving many previously persistent problems in this system, he went to work for the Mother Earth News Eco Village in North Carolina where he worked in a team using alternative building techniques. There he constructed a number of unique structures, like a cordwood half dome, that was used as the back half of a greenhouse. He also worked extensively with their alternative energy projects.
When the energy crisis of 1978-9 struck, Dave started the American Homegrown Fuel Co. Inc. It was an educational organization teaching farmers and others how to produce and use low cost alcohol fuel at home or on the farm. Alcohol, a renewable and virtually pollution-free fuel, is used in place of gasoline in automobile engines. AHGF became a small corporation with 15 employees. Dave taught 180 workshops to 7,000 people over a two year period while appearing over 1000 times in print, radio and television.