As a research project, this one is a little unusual. Its material costs are low and it provides a return on investment (i.e., produces food), but it is extremely labor intensive. This makes sense, though, because if fossil fuels are taken out of the food system, we’re down to what we have available and must … More Grow Your Own — Part V: Support the Project
As you’ve read all week, we are going to be simulating the crash of fossil-fuel infrastructure in our food system. You can read about the overall idea, the chronological outline, and the study parameters in previous posts. Today we’ll be discussing how we’ll be sharing our results as we go. Regular Social- and Multimedia Reports … More Grow Your Own — Part IV: Follow Along
We should define the parameters under which we’ll be carrying out this simulation. You can read about the inspiration and overall idea for this experiment in Part I and the chronological outline in Part II. Here we’ll drill down on exactly what we’ll be doing. 1. We will concentrate our growing efforts on about half … More Grow Your Own — Part III: Rules for the Experiment
I used to ask my students, “how would your life change if fossil fuels or even just oil ran out?” Most answers involve transportation, which makes sense because the only time many of us think about oil is when we fill up our cars. In fact, the biggest immediate disruptions would be to our clean … More Grow Your Own — Part II: When Fossil Fuels Fail
What if fossil fuels disappeared? That is the premise of the Low Technology Institute and the question is not rhetorical. Fossil fuels will stop being used, whether it is tomorrow or in a few decades. At some point we will no longer be using coal, natural gas, or petroleum for our main energy sources. Perhaps … More Grow Your Own — Part I: What if Fossil Fuels Disappeared?
We’re excited to be part of the Community Engagement Open House on Wednesday, November 6, from 4:00–7:00 p.m. in UW–Madison’s H.F. DeLuca Forum Discovery Building (330 N. Orchard St.). The purpose of the event is to link up organizations with members of the community and help share ways to green our homes, engage in environmental … More Join us at the Community Engagement Open House at UW–Madision on Wednesday
I was recently in our perennial fruit plot spreading straw over the strawberry beds. I was thinking of the word strawberry as I worked. In German, it is Erdbeere, which means “earth berry.” In Spanish, fresa, which comes from the Latin Fragum and can be compared to French fraise and Italian fragola. Most food words in … More Putting Strawberries to Bed for the Winter. Wait “straw”berries?
Avid readers will notice that we haven’t been posting much over the last month. That’s because every free moment has been given over to installing our solar panels (see the earlier posts here). Here I’ll recap the physical installation of the panels and other components. In the next post, we’ll go through how we ended … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part IV: Installation
Just down the road from the institute is the Danky-Schelshorn Prairie. Until 2003, this land was under agricultural cultivation, but Jim and Christine decided to turn it back into a prairie habitat. The Danky-Schelshorn Prairie was established when Christine took a workshop at the UW Arboretum. Through their friendship with Steve Glass, they accelerated the … More Upcoming Workshop — Gathering Prairie Seeds, Oct. 19, 1–4 p.m., Free (Space is Limited)
We’ve been chronicling our addition of solar panels (see them all here). Today we’re going to go through the layout and electrical diagrams of the system. The Layout The panels will be mounted on the back of our garage. This is for a few reasons. First, our house’s roof slopes west–east while the garage is … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels — Part III: System Layout