Taped to the side of one of our pods is a little paper that reads: “Planted on June 13, 2017.” In just 3 weeks the STEAM Garden will be 1 year old. This experiment got off to a rough start, but today the garden is thriving. To date we have harvested 10 Jalapeños and 15 Tomatoes and the Basil continues to grow, we trim it back and it just grows some more. Our tomatoes have been very sweet and meaty and our Jalapeños have been reported, by the members who have tried them, to be very sweet and “hotter than the sun,” as one memeber describes them.
STEAM GARDEN 2.0
Some time ago I reached out to a local company, Garden Supply Guys, about upgrading the garden to something a bit more reliable with professional equipment. The guys came to the Club to take a look at what we had built and offered some suggestions. A week ago some of the members and I assembled the new pumps, manifolds and nozzles suggested to us by the Garden Supply Guys. Last Friday these upgrades were installed and we’re already seeing some spectacular results. We’ve even begun to use cuttings and dead plant matter to compost and generate dirt. This is significant because the purpose behind the STEAM Garden is to explore the problem of feeding travelers during long-term trips in Space – How will people living on the Moon or Mars eat, or how will they eat during the 6-month trip to Mars? In such places, dirt as we know it, doesn’t exist. So for us to begin a compost from our waste means space travelers can use the same methods to begin creating the dirt necessary for other kinds of plants such as trees, wildflowers, cacti, etc.