Category Archives: Agriculture

America loves the idea of family farms. That’s unfortunate. By Sarah Taber

Preface. As declining fossil fuels force more and more people back into being farmers, eventually 75 to 90% of the population, it would be much better for this to happen with family farms than gigantic mega-farms with workers who are … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

So you want to start a vertical farm?

Preface. Vertical farms sound even more impossible than rooftop farms, which at least can use free sunshine. And they use massive amounts of energy to heat, cool, ventilate, light, and so on, not a good direction to go given energy … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture | Tagged , | 6 Comments

France is trying to get rid of pesticides

Preface.  This article discusses how France is doing so far in their attempt to use less pesticides.  This is the direction we should be going in post fossils.  Many of the solutions are too high-tech to be used after the … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Pesticides | Tagged , | Comments Off on France is trying to get rid of pesticides

Replacing diesel tractors with horses or oxen – what will that be like?

Preface.  Since fossil fuels are clearly finite, at some point increasing numbers of farmers with diesel vehicles and equipment will want to replace them with horses, which can do the work of six people.  Here’s what  energy expert Vaclav Smil … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Life Before Oil, Muscle Power, Peak Food, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Using manure for fertilizer in the future – it won’t be easy

Preface. At John Jeavons Biointensive workshop back in 2003, I learned that phosphorous is limited and mostly being lost to oceans and other waterways after exiting sewage treatment plants.  He said it can be dangerous to use human manure without … Continue reading

Posted in Life Before Oil, Soil, Waste, Water | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Book review of Wrigley’s “Energy and the English Industrial revolution”

Preface. I’ve made a strong case in my book “When trucks stop running” and this energyskeptic website that we will eventually return to wood and a 14th century lifestyle after fossil fuels are depleted. So if you’re curious about what … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Energy, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Would we be happier as hunter gatherers than farming?

[ Someone posted an article in facebook from the New Yorker titled “The case against civilization. Did our hunter-gatherer ancestors have it better?”  And the author’s answer is a resounding “yes” backed only by bullshit.  I was so annoyed I … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Human Nature | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How horses changed native cultures after 1492

[ This is a very brief overview of Peter Mitchel’s “Horse Nations”.  As oil and other fossils decline, will we will almost certainly return to using more horse “muscle power” as we did in the past. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Muscle Power | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Lessons learned from how Cuba survived peak oil

[ After seeing the film “The Power of Community: How Cuba survived Peak Oil” in 2006, I thought about how those lessons might apply to California agriculture. California grows about one-third of the U.S. food supply. Much of what follows … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Cuba, What to do | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pigeon towers to cope with peak phosphate and natural gas fertilizer?

[ Natural gas based fertilizers intensified crop production per acre up to 5-fold, yet natural gas, like phosphate, is finite.  We are going to be forced to reinvent our fossil-based agriculture, why not start with pigeon towers? Beats going to … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Phosphorus | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments