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)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


9 October 2010

56 days into the project and my plants are not looking very harvestable.  The time to harvest on most of the vegetables is around 80 days, but looking at them now, I really doubt I will have plump, ripe jalapenos and bell peppers from my 4 inch tall plants in 25 days :/ 

I guessed that they would take longer than usual, but I'm wondering now if they have enough light to produce fruit.  Regardless, the greens and herbs won't have a problem except slow growing. 

I'm also having a problem with many of the plants getting slightly yellow leaves on the bottom and the cilantro is totally dying.  I did some reading on it in Edward Smith's book The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (really great resource) and it sounds like cilantro has trouble transplanting and needs very well drained soil.  Being that it is in a plastic tub with no bottom holes, that could be part of the problem :) also, they got transplanted as seedlings and were one of the only plants I tried and saving each seedling instead of cutting the ones growing out of one one down.  I'm going to start another batch of them directly sowing them into the planters and see if they do better.  I also drilled holes in all of my tubs and elevated them on bricks above a few seed flats to give them better drainage.  I placed the potted plants on stones so they weren't sitting in any excess water that drains into the catchment trays.  Hopefully this will save them!  Trial and error woooo!



herbs and arugula

pots on stones for drainage

tubs on bricks/flats for drainage

dying cilantro