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#326 2016-08-30 12:56:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

Cloves are a very tasty spice. In medieval times there were very expensive, had to be imported from a south Pacific tropical island.

How to Grow Cloves
how-to-grow-clove.jpg

It is an evergreen tree and on favorable climates, it grows up to more than 8 meters high, while the cultivated varieties are of a smaller height of around 5 meters.

Cultivation
Growing cloves require humid tropical or subtropical climate. Constant temperature above 50 F (10 C) is essential, the optimum temperature for growing clove tree is around 70 – 85 F (20 – 30 C). You can not grow it outdoors in temperate zones. However, growing clove tree in a pot is possible if proper care is done in winters.

Propagation
Growing cloves from seeds and cuttings is possible. For seed propagation, buy seeds that are recently harvested and not dried out completely since completely dried out seeds are not viable and do not germinate.

Position
Plant seeds as soon as you get them. The seeds don’t need to be covered with soil and should be placed on top of the soil. You can cover the pot or seed tray with the plastic sheet to increase the humidity.

For healthy and strong growth, it needs a tropical climate. The Clove prefers a semi-shaded exposure similar to black pepper. It can not withstand winter temperatures below 32 F (0 C). So do not plant it outside in an area with cold and harsh winters. However, it can tolerate occasional frosts.

Soil
Soil should be rich and loamy with good drainage and lot of organic matter.

Water
Clove tree grows in wet tropics. It requires regular watering especially when the plant is young (first 3-4 years). Overwatering must be avoided.

Fertilizer
Apply 50 kg aged manure or compost and bone meal or fish meal 2-4 kg per year. Usually, the organic fertilizer is applied in the beginning of rainy season in the regions where clove is cultivated. Once the plant starts to grow, apply 40-gram urea, 110-gram superphosphate, and 80-gram MOP, instead of MOP you can also apply potassium sulfate. The dosage must be increased and for the tree that is mature and older than 15 years apply 600 gm urea, 1560 gm superphosphate and 1250 gm MOP per year.The fertilizer must be applied in equal split doses in shallow trenches dug around the plant after the end of summer.

Harvesting
The cloves you use as a spice is actually the result of the harvest of dried unopened flower buds. A Clove tree starts to flower after 6 years of its planting if grown in favorable conditions. However, it takes at least 15 – 20 years reach the full bearing stage.

Because opened flowers are not valued as a spice the unopened buds are picked before they turn pink and when they are rounded and plump. At that time, they are less than 2 cm long. Harvesting must be done carefully without damaging the branches.

The buds once picked are dried in the sun or in the hot air chambers until they have lost two-thirds of their original weight and the color of the bud stem has darkened to dark brown and rest of the bud in slight brown color.

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#327 2016-08-30 13:50:52

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

On April 10 of this year, page 10 of this thread, I mentioned Koshari. A vegan dish that doesn't try to imitate meat. Lentils, rice, macaroni with a tomato sauce. But I didn't post a recipe or detailed ingredients.

I first learned of this when I was given a bag of orange something that looked like tiny dried split peas. What do I do with these? Turned out they're red lentils. So I googled red lentils, ran across this recipe. It's delicious.

Koshari (Egyptian Rice, Lentils and Macaroni with Spicy Tomato Chile Sauce)
taken from The Daring Gourmet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil (I use normal soybean vegetable oil)

  • 1 cup medium grain rice

  • 1 cup brown lentils (other descriptions on the internet said red lentils, so that's what I used)

  • 2 cups small macaroni

  • 2 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 garlic clove, quartered

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Salt to taste

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I use normal soybean vegetable oil)

  • 1 small onion, diced finely

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 (15 oz) can unseasoned tomato sauce (I used crushed tomatoes)

  • 2 tsp baharat spice blend

  • ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes (it says "omit if you dislike spicy hot" but I find it's just tasty, not really hot)

  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Crispy Onion Garnish: (when cooking for myself I skip the garnish)

  • 2 large onions, finely sliced

  • Oil for deep-frying

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and fry it for 2 minutes, then add the vegetable stock. Bring it to a boil, decrease the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

  2. Rinse the lentils under cold water and add them to another medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Add the garlic, cumin and bay leaf and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Once cooked, add the salt and stir to combine. Strain any excess liquid if necessary.

  3. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente.

  4. Note: Prepare the rice, macaroni and lentils while the sauce is simmering and leave them covered in the pots to keep warm.

To make sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the tomato sauce, baharat, salt and pepper to taste, chile flakes (if using) and red wine vinegar. Bring it to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. To make the crispy onions, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and fry until dark brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain and cool.

  3. Add the rice, lentils and macaroni to a large bowl and toss to combine (or simply scoop out desired amounts of each onto the plates). Sprinkle a little baharat over each portion and serve topped with some of the spicy tomato sauce. Top with garbanzo beans, the crispy onions and another sprinkle of baharat. Serve warm.

For the tomato sauce it says "cooked/pureed tomatoes", so I used a can of crushed tomatoes. Tomato sauce here has North American spices.

Baharat (Middle Eastern Spice Blend)
Ingredients (to the right are my quantities for a single batch of Koshari)

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (1/3 tsp)

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (1/3 tsp)

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (¼ tsp)

  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves (1/8 tsp)

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (skip)

  • 1½ tablespoons paprika (½ tsp)

  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon (1/8 tsp)

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (1/40 tsp, or tip of a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon, I usually end up with ¼ of 1/8 tsp)

Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and dry roast the whole spices/seeds (set aside the paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg) until they become very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, tossing regularly to prevent scorching. Transfer them to a bowl and allow them to cool completely before grinding them in a spice or coffee grinder along with the paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg. Keep stored in an airtight glass jar.

I have clove powder instead of whole cloves, so don't put that in the skillet. Ran out of cinnamon powder but have a stick of cinnamon so used a cheese grater to powder some. Don't have coriander seeds but do have pickling spice which is mostly coriander seeds with some red chillies, bay leaves, cinnamon, and a couple other spices.

Basic Vegetable Broth
taken from How to Make Vegetable Broth (With Kitchen Scraps!)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I use normal soybean vegetable oil)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped

  • 3 carrots, chopped

  • 8 cups water

  • Frozen vegetable scraps (2-3 cups is a good amount)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • A few sprigs of parsley and thyme

  • Salt and pepper to taste (omit these if you're making stock)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the water, frozen vegetable scraps, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large heat-proof bowl or pot; discard solids. One the broth has cooled, transfer it to airtight plastic containers or freezer bags and store it in the freezer. (I usually freeze it in 2-cup portions so I don't have to thaw all the broth every time I use it.)

Macaroni in the microwave, no drain

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni

  • 1¾ cup water

Mix before placing in microwave, ensure macaroni is not stuck together and covered with water. Cook uncovered on high for 9 minutes. Remove, stir. The macaroni will still be firm with a lot of water. Cover with a plate, set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Macaroni will have soaked up all water.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-08-31 04:32:03)

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#328 2016-08-30 16:53:58

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,612

Re: Crops

From the man recipies an crop types we will be needing what I think are full time farming and cook, canning crew to allow for what needs to be done thoughout the day and night while on mars....These very basic means to save on down mass, a method to aid life support and to supplement foods is a major item that can come out of the analog site expeditions.....

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#329 2016-08-30 18:30:29

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 4,833
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Re: Crops

I'd hazard the guess that you can grow just about anything you want.  You'll need to wash the salts out of the local Martian dirt with fresh water,  and then fertilize that dirt into real soil with sewage materials,  including all the microbiota in it. 

I think a source of fresh water is the real enabling element here.  No point going to a site without a known-to-be-buried glacier there.  That is a deceptively-simple requirement:  just how do you really know the buried glacier is really there?

It would help if we knew how to make concrete out of Martian regolith.  We're going to need it. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-08-30 18:31:37)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#330 2016-08-30 20:55:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,612

Re: Crops

One way is to use crops that grow in salts well to obsorb what we want to draw out of the soil. With this we get oxygen and a throw away crop to start making nature do the work for us. Add the sewage to this in a chamber to start the processes. Add Co2 from the atmosphere and we get a bonus of methane from the process.

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#331 2016-08-31 05:15:35

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,262

Re: Crops

GW

I think a source of fresh water is the real enabling element here.  No point going to a site without a known-to-be-buried glacier there.  That is a deceptively-simple requirement:  just how do you really know the buried glacier is really there?

It would help if we knew how to make concrete out of Martian regolith.  We're going to need it. 

GW

You can find buried ice by using penetrators and observing the ejected material. I proposed iron balls dropped from orbit.

Provided you can protect against water loss and excess water ingress, you may be able to use gypsum plaster to bind rocks or bricks. The presence of Calcium Sulfate has been reported.
Alternatively, you may be able to locate volcanic deposits like pozzolana, which was used so successfully across the Roman Empire.

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#332 2016-08-31 15:09:45

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,833
Website

Re: Crops

Dropped penetrators find ice,  yes,  but cannot evaluate the depth or quality of the deposit.  The quality of the regolith-steam mix you get from the impact depends ambiguously upon either the ice quality,  or else how far you penetrated below the ice into regolith,  or both.  Remote observation of the debris cloud cannot resolve that.  Post-explosion observation of the crater may not resolve it,  either. 

Myself,  I have long advocated for a drill rig on a rover,  capable of at least 10+ m depth,  100+ m preferred.  1000+ m is really nice-to-have,  works well prospecting for subsurface resources here on Earth.  I'm not sure this can be done by a robot with today's technologies,  we do it manned here.  If it must be manned,  then your mission must be prepared to visit more than one site.  No way around that. 

That pretty well rules out most of the mission design proposals I have seen,  except an orbit-to-orbit transport equipped with multiple landers.  It helps if these are one-stage reusable landers,  so that 3 of them can cover 10,  20,  or even 30 sites,  depending upon how much refuelling propellants you send for them. 

It may be a 1950-ish concept,  but it sure is versatile enough to cope with whatever we actually find there,  no matter how unexpected it is.  That versatility could mean the difference between success or failure,  even life or death. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#333 2016-08-31 19:21:31

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

On page 10 I listed Menu Items. I did say it was by no means final. To make Koshari we would have to add:

  • cloves

  • cinnamon

  • nutmeg

  • bay leaves

  • paprika

  • lentils

Note: the first 4 are trees.

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#334 2016-08-31 19:46:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,612

Re: Crops

I think cloves can also be used for teeth aches so we may want to look to those that have medical properties as well....

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#335 2016-08-31 20:58:40

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

You want to grow willow trees for aspirin? It may be easier to synthesize. Wikipedia:
490px-Aspirin_synthesis.png

Encylopædia Britannica:
117823-004-D938EDB5.jpg

Sodium phenoxide is produced by reacting phenol with sodium hydroxide. Wikipedia:
Na + HOC6H5 → NaOC6H5 + 1/2 H2

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#336 2016-08-31 21:05:42

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

Well, Aloe vera produces sap that soothes burns. When I was a child my mother grew as a house plant. When I got a burn she would cut off a leaf and squeeze out the jelly insides onto my burn. It worked very well.
160x-aloe-vera.gif

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#337 2016-09-01 19:10:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,612

Re: Crops

So not every plant needs to be selected for this purpose but its a start just to have the more important ones for sure.
I agree aloe would be a good choice and I am sure that there are others....
As you noted just 1 plant can go along way to lots more growing from select pieces from them.

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#338 2016-09-02 08:24:25

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,519
Website

Re: Crops

Re. aspirin (and other plant-derived drugs), don't forget that you have to manufacture phenol if you want to go the fully artificial rate. Unless you're using phenol for plastics, I'm not sure you could justify adding such capability...


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#339 2016-09-02 15:47:48

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

Phenol is the primary ingredient in phenolformaldehyde also known as phenolic. It's the binder for pink fibreglass insulation, adhesive for plywood or OSB or any engineered wood product, and the aircraft industry uses it to bond aluminum sheets together for airliner bodies. Phenol is also an ingredient to make bisphenol-A, which is an ingredient to make polycarbonate, commercially known as Lexan. That's the material for spacesuit helmet visors.

Phenol can be synthesized from benzine + hydrogen peroxide, or from toluene + permanganate, or as a byproduct of synthesizing acetone. To make acetone you start with toluene or cumene. Cumene is made from benzine + propylene.

A web page I wrote in 2002: Plastics

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-09-02 15:53:02)

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#340 2016-12-26 21:30:09

Lake Matthew Team - Cole
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Registered: 2016-12-21
Posts: 119
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Re: Crops

Wheat

RobertDyck wrote:

Wheat yield in Canada is 3 tons per acre in Quebec...

Under optimal field conditions you can get over 6 tons per acre, but the greatest yield ever recorded was achieved in a NASA high-irradiance experiment.  Bugbee and Salisbury 1988 got 20 tons per acre:  enough wheat for 36,000 loaves.   

That's 69 million calories from one harvest on one acre.  I think that's the yield record for any crop species, and an attainable goal for a settlement attempting calorie self-sufficiency.

A notional greenhouse acre plot:

- 2000 wheat plants/m2
- summer sunlight + 6 MW power, 16 hr/sol, spectrum-optimized LEDs
- curtain-box (red mulch) surrounding plot, to maximize useful PPF and prevent eye damage
- PPF 200 mol/m2d  (~4x typical terrestrial field)

Last edited by Lake Matthew Team - Cole (2016-12-28 09:33:36)

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#341 2016-12-27 09:01:20

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,519
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Re: Crops

It's important to note that Wheat is a C3 crop, so yields are significantly limited by the availability of CO2. In a Martian greenhouse, that's not going to be the limiting factor.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#342 2016-12-27 16:32:49

Lake Matthew Team - Cole
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Registered: 2016-12-21
Posts: 119
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Re: Crops

Terraformer wrote:

It's important to note that Wheat is a C3 crop, so yields are significantly limited by the availability of CO2. In a Martian greenhouse, that's not going to be the limiting factor.

Yes, and they noted that CO2 enrichment "makes a slightly higher maximum [photosynthetic] efficiency possible".  They noted some other mods that might also boost yield beyond their own: 

- raising planting density (e.g., from 2000 to 4000 plants/m2)
- optimizing hydroponic water potential and hydroponic root-zone environment
- balanced nutrient uptake
- longer photoperiod for increased nitrogen assimilation
- and of course, higher PPF.  The published figures present yields that have not yet plateaued even at the highest experimental PPF (150 mol/m2d).

See Fig. 8 for the growth rate that's "potentially achievable".  Clearly there's room for improvement, and some methods for attempting improvement.  And who knows, combining these methods with focused genetic engineering might lift growth rate beyond the rate that was potentially achievable back in 1988.  100 million calories per acre might not be possible, but it's not obviously impossible.

Last edited by Lake Matthew Team - Cole (2016-12-27 16:34:57)

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#343 2016-12-27 17:30:39

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,519
Website

Re: Crops

Well, even 69 million calories per acre means that you'd only need ~50 sq.m to meet the yearly calorific needs for the average adult in a modern first world country. Even adding in an active lifestyle, you could probably get it all from, oh, 80 sq.m...

Obviously, though, people will want and need to eat stuff other than wheat, but I think it would be achievable to get all of a persons needs from only 200 sq.m.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#344 2016-12-27 17:52:31

Lake Matthew Team - Cole
Member
Registered: 2016-12-21
Posts: 119
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Re: Crops

Milk Without Cows

RobertDyck wrote:

The reason for transporting calves instead of adult cattle, is it reduce launch mass. But the first herd would have to be calves weaned from milk, because there won't be any milk for the first ones.

Actually, there's a workaround for milk.  The Perfect Day animal-free dairy process is a traditional fermentation process, yeast on sugar, which seems suitable for a greenhouse.  Its Buttercup GM yeast produces the milk proteins, then the process adds sugar and "plant fats, vitamins and minerals" for the final milk product. 

Vitamins and minerals can be shipped as minor cargo.  The sugar can be obtained very efficiently from beets.  The "plant fats" can be merely monounsaturated fats from algae, such as Thrive Culinary Algae Oil.  Given that algae is an efficient oil producer, the Thrive algae oil could be produced in greenhouse algae tanks, alongside the Perfect Day yeast fermentation tanks.

Screen-Shot-2016-08-24-at-11.44.03.png

True dairy products, without cows.  Very useful! 

Estimation

It would be interesting to estimate the calorie production rate, in a greenhouse synthetic dairy-and-fat "cottage industry" plant.  However I don't yet know enough about the Perfect Day and Thrive processes to attempt the estimate.  Are there any useful manufacturing details in the public domain?

Last edited by Lake Matthew Team - Cole (2016-12-28 13:22:38)

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#345 2016-12-27 20:42:42

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

The key ingredient in cheese is casein. It's milk protein. If someone has made genetically modified yeast to produce it, then there are already processes to make every major type of cheese from it. One manufacturer in Canada is Yves, they make veggie burgers, veggie ground round, all sorts of meat substitutes. Their products have better flavour and texture than Tofurky. Yves had a division that produced cheese substitutes, brand name "Good Slice". It was entirely lactose free, and advertising said their source of casein was microbial. Then someone discovered that supplier used microbes to isolate casein from milk, so it wasn't vegan. The vegan customers of Yves got angy. Long story short: when Yves discovered this they closed that entire division. But they had produced a wide range of cheese products from casein. If there is a real microbial source of casein, then their recipes to make cheese could be used again.

As for sugar, read my post on the first page post #16. My idea is to use laboratory techniques that already exist to isolate chloroplasts from leaves of plants. Culture live in-tact in-vitro chloroplasts to produce oxygen and sugar. Or oxygen and starch. This should produce white sugar far more efficiently than sugar beets. I see sugar beets only for flavoured sugar: brown, golden yellow, molasses, etc. If you want more detail, I wrote a separate discussion thread here: Chloroplast life support

Minerals: humans can metabolize calcite as source of calcium. That can be ground mollusc shells, chalk, or even ground limestone. The catch is it has be be ground as fine as flour, and mixed with vitamin D. Humans cannot digest calcium in any form unless vitamin D is in the digestive system at the same time. Milk already has vitamin D mixed with calcium, so milk products make an ideal source of calcium. But you can use mineral calcite purified from Mars soil.

By the way, humans also require magnesium for bone. Human bone, any animal with bone, is a primarily hydroxylapatite reinforced with collagen. Hydroxylapatite is Ca5(PO4)3(OH), so it contains calcium and phosphate. However, the mineral in bone is alloyed with magnesium. You get magnesium in digestible form from green plants, practically any green vegetable. Chlorophyll is what makes plant leaves green, and every molecule of chlorophyll has one atom of magnesium. And although human bone does not contain silicon or strontium, enzymes used to build bone do use them. So you need some silicon and strontium in your diet. That usually comes from green vegetables as well.

However, an interesting point of trivia is that some types of feldspar will dissolve in acid. I have argued to use anothrite or bytownite as aluminum ore because Mars doesn't have any bauxite. Bauxite is formed by a tropical rain forest; Mars never had a tropical rain forest so doesn't have any bauxite. I gave a presentation about that at the Mars Society convention in 2004, but it turns out one mining company in Sweden was doing it long before I thought of it. Sweden doesn't have bauxite, but they do have anorthite. I mention this because human stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve anothrite sand. A person with a strong digestive system could digest sand that has anothrite or bytownite and get silicon in digestible form. Hmm. I wonder if dissolved aluminum would be bad for you?

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-12-27 22:01:23)

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#346 2016-12-27 21:07:43

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,300

Re: Crops

Robert-
There are several products as milk replacer for calves; I've raised several where the mother cow either died, or rejected the calf . Comes as a flaked solid--add water and feed. If we have artificial gravity from using centrifugal force ala the mars Direct system, the calf would be in great shape after the 6 month voyage. As it gets older, there are other feeds needed, which are hay cubes, and grain products. Some milk needed to 5 months old. The animals can become quite good pets, if the correct breed is selected. This could have some great psychological benefits for the crews.

The animal wastes can also be collected for use as soil amendments on Mars; nothing better than manure for soil enrichment and addition of needed bacteria.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2016-12-27 21:09:53)

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#347 2016-12-27 22:17:03

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
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Re: Crops

Oldfart1939,
I don't want to argue, but my idea is Mars will be vegan for the first phase of settlement. Not for exploration, transported food will contain meat. But once you have to live only on what you grow on Mars, raising livestock is quite expensive. So my argument is Mars will be vegan from the first permanent settlers until Mars has quite a substantial population, for example 1,000 permanent settlers. This isn't for any philosophical reason, but just because it's efficient. My vegan friends really liked this, argued that once Mars settlers get used to a vegan diet, they would continue. However, my carnivorous friends really didn't. Others here on NewMars have argued for livestock, so this isn't a universal belief. But I still argue for a vegan diet when Mars has something like 12 people on the entire planet.

Besides, researching alternative food sources is fun. I find research fun. I research all sorts of things.

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#348 2016-12-27 22:53:28

Lake Matthew Team - Cole
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Registered: 2016-12-21
Posts: 119
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Re: Crops

Ferment and Fertilizer

RobertDyck wrote:

The key ingredient in cheese is casein. It's milk protein. If someone has made genetically modified yeast to produce it, then there are already processes to make every major type of cheese from it.

Right, that's what the Buttercup GM yeast does.  Then once it outputs the casein protein, normal dairy processes make cheese and other tasty products. 

I don't know Buttercup yield, the factor that determines viability for a small greenhouse plant.  I'd expect yield to be excellent - after all, it's an optimized commercial GM fermentation process - but I don't have a number yet.

RobertDyck wrote:

Minerals: humans can metabolize calcite as source of calcium...

...humans also require magnesium for bone.

We explored in situ production of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients as bulk fertilizer, at the NasaSpaceFlight forum.  One tech that seemed to meet the need for calcium and magnesium fertilizer was the Calera CO2 sequestration process, aka ABLE:  Alkalinity Based on Low Energy.  It's a commercial process that efficiently extracts calcium and magnesium cations from basalt - a rock which is of course abundant on Mars.

Alternately, a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) plant could also extract those cations from brine, as part of the standard ZLD precipitation sequence:

1.  iron via oxidation & pH increase

2.  magnesium via pH increase

3.  calcium and phosphorous via pH decrease, then alkaline agent

4.  potassium via temperature decrease

Additional potassium and phosphorus could be recovered from stalk-and-greens composting, which would also provide free heat for the Calera reactor.

Nitrate can also be produced efficiently in the greenhouse.  As envisioned, a nitrogen gas-separation membrane is coupled to a small plasma nitrate production plant.

Other methods could be used of course, and you've broached some others in forum.  I just note that these particular ISRU methods could likely produce, altogether and efficiently, over 90% of the fertilizer required for a hydroponic greenhouse.  That's significant only because fertilizer tonnage would be very expensive if shipped as cargo, or else very hard-won if recovered through complex ECLSS waste reprocessing.

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#349 2016-12-27 23:01:10

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,612

Re: Crops

The main issue is not the time to getting a colony but as well how many missions must go forth before we do have the greenhouse area in order to not only support man but husbandry as well.....
There are lots of milk products including them for muscle mass building products (whey)but in either case we need to account for the many ways to which we can use them.
Lets say the greenhouse size max is only the 50 sq. m in size that we could bring on a first mission and we do plant the Wheat which grows from planting to harvest in 4 - 6 months depending on type raises the question what are we eating with it since that is the only crop we decided to grow... sad

We need to grow multiple crops within the space limitations of that design size which we can bring in order to make food menus for what we will be eating in the future as we stay.....

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#350 2016-12-27 23:09:43

Lake Matthew Team - Cole
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Registered: 2016-12-21
Posts: 119
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Re: Crops

Scaling for Self-Sufficiency

SpaceNut wrote:

Lets say the greenhouse size max is only the 50 sq. m in size that we could bring on a first mission...

Understood.  50 m2 would limit the menu, and portions.

Only, the Lake Matthew Team has a larger, self-sufficient greenhouse in mind, for that same first mission.

hab_rough_geometry_v4_1920x901.png
Habitat rough geometry, as enabled by Lake Matthew micro-environment.
Subaqueous dome, 300m scale.

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