Growing things on Mars ...


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Unobscured Vision

ASTRUM (YouTube Page) just posted a video about the difficulties in growing plants on Mars in the perchlorate-rich soils there. Quite a video for anyone not up to speed on this matter.

 

 

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DocM

Hydroponically (no soil) grown veggies are rather common in markets around the Detroit area. Tomatoes & other nightshades in particular, but also cukes, herbs, and leafy veggies. 

 

2016 article, but it has expanded into some huge vacated buildings and into the exurbs since.

 

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2016/08/15/indoor-farms-vacant-buildings-detroit/88813972/

 

And Kimball Musk, Elon's brother, has a startup which grows vegetables with high production rates in retired shipping containers.  

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Beittil

If all else fails we just call up one Mr. Watney with his buckets of manure and sh*t will happen... 

 

 

(Yes, pun intended :P) 

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DocM
58 minutes ago, Beittil said:

If all else fails we just call up one Mr. Watney with his buckets of manure and sh*t will happen... 

 

(Yes, pun intended :P) 

 

Growing spuds and sweet potatoes  in a container, bag or bucket using  soilless* medium is a trivial matter. Takes little space and a good kiddie project. Just assure drainage.

 

* peat moss, coarse sand, vermiculite, coconut husks, bark, etc. Many variants. I've seen dried  grasses used in place of the peat moss.

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Beittil

Heh, I got a few buckets of taters growing in my back yard as we speak 😛

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Mindovermaster

And the people turn into this:

 

The_Waters_of_Mars.png

(Dr. Who: The Waters of Mars)

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DocM
47 minutes ago, Beittil said:

Heh, I got a few buckets of taters growing in my back yard as we speak 😛

 

Baskets here, lined with burlap. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions,  and as a fall crop rutabaga (Swedish turnip). Rutabaga likes cooler temps.

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+warwagon

Questioning the part about using poop after removing the "Pathogens". In Iowa, they pump the poop out the hog units directly into a giant tanker and go from there and spray in on the fields. 

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DocM
1 hour ago, warwagon said:

Questioning the part about using poop after removing the "Pathogens". In Iowa, they pump the poop out the hog units directly into a giant tanker and go from there and spray in on the fields. 

 

Manure should be dried then composted, rendering it safe.

 

Then there are big hog producers who will store it in huge lagoons, spraying the overflow on fields. There was a story about this in NC not long ago.

Edited by DocM
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+warwagon
1 hour ago, DocM said:

 

Manure should be dried then composted, rendering it safe.

 

Then there are big hog producers who will store it in huge lagoons, spraying the overflow on fields. There was a story about this in NC not long ago.

Ya, Iowa farms spray it onto fields in liquid form all the time. It's pumped out of hog pits, and sprayed onto the field using what they call a "honey Wagon" 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Something that had occurred to me right after I'd posted this was what @DocM had said -- the soil needs not be a factor since all of the veggies and other plants in question (and more) can be grown with very little or even no soil. The "leftovers" can be used as composting material thereafter. :yes: 

 

Of course, Martian soil can be "washed out" and used, but ... I'm not willing to take the chance, especially since the likelihood of organisms in that soil is approaching 25% or higher.

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Matthew S.
17 hours ago, warwagon said:

Ya, Iowa farms spray it onto fields in liquid form all the time. It's pumped out of hog pits, and sprayed onto the field using what they call a "honey Wagon" 

 

 

Any truck having to do with sh*t is reffered to as "Honey Wagon", theres even a septic cleaner here in ON, Canada that has the name "Honey Badger" :| 

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Beittil

That sort of septic spraying is no longer allowed here in NL. Farmers now use special extensions at the back of their tractors that sort of pizzaslice the ground behind them and injects the septic directly into the ground. 

 

https://youtu.be/olEe9HV_Vt0

 

It was mostly the awfull smell that led to a ban on just spraying the damn stuff all over the place. This method is far better when farming in densely populated countries such as mine. 

 

I suppose all that is not an issue on Mars, haha. Though trying to spray manure around on Mars would lead to other funny effects... 

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