This era in history may be remembered as the "Peak Age", a brief time when nearly all materials used to power and create our society reach the maximum extraction and production potential. Past this point, all of these resources become increasingly difficult to extract until they are no longer economically viable resources to be using. There are hundreds of examples of resources, currently embedded in our industrial society, which have reached their peak in the 50 years surrounding 2010, but the one which will most impact our society is petroleum.

The goal of living for 100 days without oil is to understand the extent of our dependance on oil in American society today. Specifically, how it will affect my life, as a 25 year-oil living in Minneapolis, MN. By using myself as a metric I can take a close and conscious look at where oil dependance occurs in all aspects of our daily lives : How we transport ourselves from one place to another, what we eat, how much waste we create, how water is cleaned and transported, where oil is used as; an energy resource, in conventional medicine and for hygiene and how oil affects how we entertain ourselves and communicate with others. By demonstrating how someone would be forced to live without using any oil resources, outlining both what the sacrifices will be as well as the benefits, we can can identify the many systems which will have to be re-designed in a world without cheap oil, and explore a new way of living in which we live in an energy balance.

(At the bottom of this page is a link to my version of a flow diagram of 'Where Petroleum Exists in Our Daily Lives' (using information from the Energy Information Administration-Annual Energy Review 2008 fig 5.0 Petroleum flow) click and zoom to enlarge)

Monday, November 15, 2010


6 November 2010

After eighty-four days, I have my first grow-table harvest!  Yeah, its only cilantro, but you can't get that at any grocery store these days so it feels like a big deal :)

Some 'minnesota-in-the-winter-fajitas' were made with it:

_homemade tortillas
_stock of frozen bell peppers
_stored onions (they are starting to rot)
_hot peppers (dried)
_tomatoes (found local ones again at the grocery)
_sour cream

By direct-sowing seed, the plants I have started over the last few weeks have been growing WAY faster than the ones I started as small transplants at the beginning of the project.  After only 1 month I have an 6" high tomato:

and a crazy green bean:

Some of the veggies planted at the beginning of the project (jalapeno and bell peppers) got transplanted into 10" diameter pots which should be big enough to hold them for the rest of their life.  I'm testing two bell peppers to see how they do in different sized pots.  They were both planted at the same time.  Greens and herbs can be grown in the 6" diameter pots, but vegetables should ideally be put in 10-12" ones.  It is still yet to be seen if the plants have enough light to eventually fruit, finger's crossed for that.This jalapeno has buds starting on it:

jalapeno (planted 8/15)

The romaine I started on August 15th is probably ready to harvest as well:

Here is a shot of the whole garden as it is now.  I especially like these shots because you can see the snow in the background. Having never grown a plant in my LIFE before this project, I'm feeling pretty good about being able to grow them in the snow :). 

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