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#226 2016-04-24 12:22:19

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Crops

Better chicken than nothing. One can eat chicken for a long time, and it might even be possible to set up a hen house in a greenhouse. Chicken is fairly efficient as meat production is concerned.

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#227 2016-04-24 13:18:01

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
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Re: Crops

Chicken are birds, they're not as hot blooded as mammals. That means they don't need as much food just to maintain body temperature. More meat per unit mass of fodder (animal feed) translates to lower cost. That's true of all birds, including turkey. My concerns are that it still takes several pounds of feed to produce one pound of meat. And animals cannot be kept in a polymer film greenhouse, they would scratch or peck a hole that would let air out. I've argued that a permanent settlement would use normal glass, not plastic film, because glass is so easy to make. But glass is certainly too heavy to transport from Earth.

The real kicker is how do you get them to Mars? You don't want livestock in a space capsule with astronauts. They would freak out. Even with artificial gravity, there is a period when approaching Mars when the spacecraft has zero-G. And after launch before rotation is established. And high acceleration during launch, and Mars atmospheric entry. And livestock require copious quantities of food and water, and produce manure. So how then? I had talked about sending fertilized chicken eggs. Land them in a cushioned egg carton, contained within a refrigerator. The fridge would convert to an incubator on arrival on Mars. The question is then can you refrigerate live eggs? Turns out you can, but there are limits. A farm fridge for live fertilized eggs is not as cold as a kitchen fridge; that would kill eggs. And you can only keep fertilized eggs for up to 6 weeks; and the longer they're kept in refrigeration, the smaller proportion remain viable. At the maximum 6 weeks, very few will hatch. But an express trajectory to Mars is 6 months! So how?

I had suggested surgically removing the embryo from an egg, and freezing the embryo in liquid nitrogen. I noticed fertility clinics freeze early stage human embryos. If it works with human embryos, it should work with chicken embryos as well. Once thawed on Mars, put them back in their own egg. Freeze the egg separately. Flash freezing halts formation of ice crystals that slice open living cells, so freezing in liquid nitrogen requires something very small. When I posted this idea, one member who had a small hobby farm said he grows chickens. And he had a neighbour who also had a small chicken farm, and was a veterinarian. He suggested freezing whole fertilized chicken eggs in liquid nitrogen. He said he would talk to his neighbour about this, to try it. But he had financial difficulties, had to get that sorted out first. We haven't seen a post from him since. crying.gif

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#228 2016-04-24 14:50:25

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,760
Website

Re: Crops

If for the sake of argument you "use spin gravity on your orbit-to-orbit transport",  you can transport livestock as well as humans that way.  The presence of artificial gravity simplifies sewage management,  as well as all sorts of life support processes,  and it makes bathing and laundry easy.  It enables the use of free-surface aqueous cooking,  which in turn makes frozen food feasible.  Which has lifetimes of centuries or more frozen,  plus it serves as a radiation shield,  which freeze-dried foodstuffs cannot. 

There will be be brief periods of zero gee at Earth departure,  midcourse correction,  and Mars capture.  But as long as these are brief (measured in hours not days),  the livestock will get over their panic and not succumb.  People can eat freeze-dried stuff and use a zero-gee "toilet" for those short intervals. 

I know this does not fit well with Mars Direct and similar direct-to-transfer-trajectory concepts,  but the advantages actually overwhelm the ridiculous mass constraints and compromises you must make in order to go direct.  The old 1950's orbit-to-orbit approach with landers really is the best way.  Avoid all the medical and technology issues,  and just belly-up-to-the-bar and do spin gravity.  We've known we have to do something about these issues for over 2 decades now. 

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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#229 2016-04-24 15:54:27

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
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Re: Crops

I agree, spin gravity is necessary. However, I argued to transport calves in hibernation. That keeps them unconscious the whole way, so they aren't trouble, as well as reducing metabolism to 10% of an awake animal. They wouldn't need to eat or drink, and no urine or manure. 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. Hibernating animals in a cocoon would be a lot simpler to deal with.

But I do still like Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct idea. That does require mid-course correction while spinning, which is the only new technology necessary. Fancy control system using modern computers is definitely something we can do.

Frozen vs dehydrated: Fine! I don't have any figures for frozen shelf life. In 1991/'92 I was a computer person for Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation; they had a chart posted on their freezer: temperature vs storage time. It went down to -60°C. They had a walk-in freezer at -20°C, which had another door to a walk-in freezer at -40°C. Actually, they could drive a forklift through those doors. Don't remember where they had -60°C. But storage time actually depended on how fatty the fish was. And since they were a fish company, their chart didn't include vegetables, beef, or chicken. Found a website with a shorter chart: lean fish can be stored at -30°C for 24 months. What is shelf life of canned food? As long as it's longer than a Mars mission, I'm all for it.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-24 15:55:55)

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#230 2016-04-24 17:52:57

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

Sure wolly mamoth... edible but here is another in Honey never really goes bad.  In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible.  If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change.  Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey.  Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.


http://www.family-survival-planning.com … -life.html

Browse Shelf Life Information By Category for more specific preparations of the category...
Fruits
Vegetables
Dairy & Eggs
Meat & Poultry
Fish & Shellfish
Nuts & Legumes
Grains & Pasta
Condiments & Oils
Herbs & Spices
Snacks & Sweets
Baked Goods
Beverages

http://offgridsurvival.com/survivalfood/

Survival Food that adds flavor & comfort:
Comfort foods can be a huge morale booster during a stressful survival situation, something that needs to be kept in mind when starting to stockpile food. These four things can be stored for over 10 years, and are a great way to add a little bit of flavor to your cooking. If stored properly they will probably last indefinitely.

1.Salt
2.Sugar – Brown or White
3.Raw Honey
4.Alcohol – Whiskey, Vodka, etc…

Base cooking ingredients with a long shelf life:
The following categories of food make up the foundation of most recipes, and are all things that store well.

Hard Grains: Stored properly hard grains have a shelf life of around 10 – 12 years.

1.Buckwheat
2.Dry Corn
3.Kamut
4.Hard Red Wheat
5.Soft White Wheat
6.Millet
7.Durum wheat
8.Spelt

Soft grains: These soft grains will last around 8 years at 70 degrees, sealed without oxygen.

1.Barley,
2.Oat Groats,
3.Quinoa
4.Rye

Beans: Sealed and kept away from oxygen the following beans can last for around 8 – 10 years.

1.Pinto Beans
2.Kidney Beans
3.Lentils
4.Lima Beans
5.Adzuki Beans
6.Garbanzo Beans
7.Mung Beans
8.Black Turtle Beans
9.Blackeye Beans

Flours and Mixes and Pastas: 5 – 8 years

1.All Purpose Flour
2.White Flour
3.Whole Wheat Flour
4.Cornmeal
5.Pasta
6.White Rice ( up to 10 years)

Oils:

1.Coconut oil – Coconut oil has one of the longest shelf lives of any kind of oil. It can last for over 2 years and is a great item to add to your survival food supply list.

Survival Foods that are great during short-term disasters:
The following items are great for short-term emergencies, and will stay fresh for a long period of time. During most disasters you’re going to want to have food that requires very little cooking, or can be eaten without any preparation at all. Make sure some of your stockpile includes these types of food.

Other good survival foods: 2 – 5 years of shelf life

1.Canned Tuna
2.Canned Meats
3.Canned Vegetables & Fruits
4.Peanut Butter
5.Coffee
6.Tea
7.Ramen Noodles – not the greatest food in the world but they are very cheap so they made the survival food list.
8.Hard Candy
9.Powdered milk
10.Dried herbs and spices
Items that can be used for more than cooking:

1.Apple Cider Vinegar – Cleaning, cooking, and has antibiotic properties
2.Baking Soda – Cleaning, cooking, etc…
3.Honey – Mentioned again for its antibiotic properties and wound healing.
Nonfood items to stock up on at the grocery store:
1.Bic Lighters
2.Toilet Paper
3.Soaps
4.Bottled Water
5.Vitamins
6.Medicines
7.Bandages
8.Peroxide
9.Lighter fluid
10.Canning Supplies
11.Charcoal

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#231 2016-04-24 18:10:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

Found this once I actually read the full page
http://www.family-survival-planning.com … lator.html
taking the guess work out of what we need to bring for food

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#232 2016-04-24 18:16:50

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Crops

Very interesting talk about Chickens. I made a thread about Chickens a while back. We'd need a whopping 30 acres for Chickens, compared with 1 acre being sufficient for Vitamin A and Vitamin C. http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7377


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#233 2016-04-24 19:07:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

Sorry RobertDyck if this topic is getting to far off topic... http://www.canningpantry.com/dehydration-of-food.html

So once we can and do grow food we will need to preserve it for future use....

The basics of food dehydration
Three things are needed to successfully dry food at home:

Heat — hot enough to force out moisture (140°F), but not hot enough to cook the food;
Dry air — to absorb the released moisture;
Air movement — to carry the moisture away.

Foods can be dried using three methods:

In the sun— requires warm days of 85°F or higher, low humidity, and insect control;  recommended for dehydrating fruits only; In the oven; Using a food dehydrator — electric dehydrators take less time to dry foods and are more cost efficient than an oven.

http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/348/348-597/348-597_pdf.pdf
http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/348/348-597/348-597.html

  • Fruits and Vegetables Suitable for Drying
    Fruits         Vegetables
    Apples        Beets
    Apricots      Carrots
    Bananas      Sweet corn
    Cherries      Garlic
    Coconuts    Horseradish
    Dates         Mushrooms
    Figs           Okra
    Grapes       Onions
    Nectarines  Parsnips
    Peaches     Parsley
    Pears         Peas
    Pineapples  Peppers (red, green, and chili)
    Plums        Potatoes
                   Pumpkin

So what is the cooking times for using these food stocks and or preparation times....

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#234 2016-04-24 19:12:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

well found the rehydration information time and water amounts needed for each Vegetable http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/canning-pantr … tables.pdf

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#235 2016-04-24 22:24:58

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Crops

According to the NIH, a 51+ male adult should take in at least 1.7 mg/day of Vitamin B6. This means the annual need of Vitamins B6 is 62.05 g. Chickpeas provide 0.2 mg of Vitamin B6 in 1 cup, or 164 grams of chickpeas (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/leg … cts/4326/2), thus 310,250 cups or 1.9 kilograms (4.185 lb) of chickpeas would be needed annually for our colony of 100. Large Chickpeas were at 540 lb/acre in Montana (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsRelease … l_166.html), leading to 7.75 * 10 ^-3 acres needed of chickpeas for the colony to get its Vitamin B6 fix.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#236 2016-04-25 19:08:12

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

With the exposure of space radiation being higher for the journey and for while on Mars I am wondering about the vitamin content degradation over time to the nutritional value for the food we will eat....

Army helps to meet nutritional needs of Mars astronauts

The mission to Mars provides many challenges in vitamin stabilization. "You can make food that is stable, but vitamins are biological materials that degrade over time," Barrett said. "Especially if there is cosmic radiation; then they are even more susceptible to degradation. Cosmic radiation can damage vitamins and create more of a need for antioxidant vitamins for the astronauts. This could result in malnutrition."

The vitamins need to remain effective and intact during the astronauts' time on Mars, and they also need to remain stable during travel to and from Mars.

"NASA is also interested in stockpiling food there for subsequent missions, which is why they want a five-year shelf life," Barrett said.

Proper nutrition and vitamin stability are critical to the success of any space mission.

"Vitamins help with immunity," Richardson said. "It's also important that the astronauts don't lose muscle mass and bone density, which they are more prone to in a gravity-free environment."

"Antioxidants also help with neural function," Barrett said.

http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/32842/In … iation.pdf

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#237 2016-04-26 09:55:53

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

Menu items
Here is a proposed list of menu items. This is by no means final.

Breakfast
oatmeal
facon - fake bacon, made from soy
pancakes
maple flavour pancake syrup
margarine
bread/toast
orange juice
coffee
sugar
soy milk for coffee whitener

Lunch/Supper
soy burger
... whole wheat bun, veggie "cheese", lettuce, pickles, onions
pizza - toppings: veggie "cheese", veggie pepperoni, veggie "beef", facon, green pepper, mushroom, onion, tomatoes
french fries
mashed potatoes
baked potatoes
scalloped potatoes
rice: white, brown
spaghetti w/sauce
vegan lasagna
chili: with veggie "ground round"
macaroni & veggie "cheese"
bread - whole wheat: sliced, dinner buns
Moros - a Cuban dish, cooked black beans with white rice

Vegetables
carrot
peas
green beans
black beans
corn: yellow
bell pepper: green, yellow, red, orange
tomato
onion: Spanish, green
lettuce
spinach
celery

Fruit
orange
apple
pear
plum
grapes
blueberry
strawberry
raspberry

Spread
jam/jelly: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, grape, marmalade
marmite (vitamin B12)
ketchup
soy sauce

Alcoholic Beverages
beer
red wine
vodka
whisky
brandy
rum

Treats
potato chips: plain, salt & vinegar, ketchup, dill pickle
gel candies: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, orange
tapioca pudding

Spices
chili powder
cumin
black pepper (pepper corns & ground)
cayenne
oregano
coriander - aka cilantro
cream of tartar
parsley
sesame
garlic: cloves, powder
vanilla bean
vanilla extract (from real vanilla bean)
fenugreek (ingredient for below)
imitation maple extract

Baking supplies
baking soda
baking powder
starch
whole wheat flour
sugar: white (granulated), icing sugar (finely powdered with starch), golden yellow (aka light brown), brown (aka dark brown), "sugar in the raw" (turbinado), molasses
soybean vegetable oil
tofu: firm
vinegar: distilled white, red wine

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-28 09:25:05)

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#238 2016-04-26 10:04:39

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

Should we add to this list? More ingredients requires more greenhouse space go grow them.

Egyptian Koshari - a pure vegan dish that doesn't try to imitate meat. Lentils, white rice, macaroni, tomato sauce. It's spicy, with special cooking instructions to maximize flavour. The key ingredient that would have to be added is lentils. Spices missing are nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - these are from trees.

Olives & avocados. Again, these are grown on trees. But these provide oils to diet. Avocado technically has fat, because the oil is solid at room temperature. That's the only fruit that produces fat.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-26 12:39:19)

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#239 2016-04-26 15:49:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

Maybe a second times the charm...as network drpoeed when I sent it last time...

I would say yes to adding to the list but at some point we need to decide which crops are to be grown versus what we will take with us. The initial base will be possibly greenhouse restricted to down mass and quite possibly will be the empty cargo landers or any open used space within the habitat to make use of to grow what ever we can to supplement our diets with. Are there other tree's that if we can grow them in minature size would be of use to a crews food system that we would want to create.

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#240 2016-04-26 16:51:02

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

Well, as I posted way way back, Apple can be grafted to any other apple, and any citrus to any other citrus, and any stone fruit to stone fruit. There is a dwarf orange that grows within the limits of a Mars greenhouse, yet produces full size oranges. We could grow a lemon tree separately, or graft to an orange tree. From July 1989 to July 1990, I rented a house with my then lady. It was in Toronto, an older couple's retirement home before they had to move to a nursing home. 14 fruit trees, and 6 grape vines, one Italian table grapes, the others Italian wine grapes. That included a full size Red Delicious apple tree, Macintosh, Granny Smith, prune plumb (Damson), and one tree grafted so half produced gold plum, the other half another type. I found it produced way too much! When I bought my current house in 1990, I planted a Goodland apple tree. It thrives in the climate here, and produces full-size apples. But again, way too much. One citrus tree and one apple tree would produce plenty for a base of 12 people.

So one orange tree with a single branch of lemon. And a single apple tree, grafted to produce Red Delicious and Macintosh. There is one exception to this rule: you can graft an "interstem" of a variety of apple called Winter Banana to an apple tree; then graft pear to Winter Banana. Plum is a stone fruit, so it requires its own tree. Coffee grows on a small tree, requiring space and a few years before it produces, but I think coffee is worth it.

Parsley is a herb. Sesame is an annual, Wikipedia says it grows 50 to 100 cm (1.6 to 3.3 ft) tall. I didn't list them in spices, but did include them in the list of plants.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-26 16:52:43)

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#241 2016-04-26 17:27:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

So we would bring aseedling that has been grafted plus shown to be in good health before putting it into stasis and sending them to mars. Any over production is converted into other foods that we can use such as jellies, juices, wines, vinegar ect...and even into fuels that can burn when we have an aboundance of oxygen to make use of....

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#242 2016-04-26 20:54:19

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

Three seedlings in pots growing in the common room of a Mars Direct habitat? Sounds homey. Would require a plastic film cover over the soil of the pot, and the pot would have to be anchored to the floor. For times of zero-G. Would want to bring some seeds too, in case something happens to one of the trees.

By the way, studies by NASA and others show a greenhouse that produces enough food would produce too much oxygen. So you would have an over abundance of oxygen, would have to deal with that somehow. Isn't that a nice problem?

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-27 21:19:15)

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#243 2016-04-27 05:08:33

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

Wikipedia: Olive

The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 m (26–49 ft) in height.
...
There are hundreds of cultivars of the olive tree (Olea europaea). An olive's cultivar has a significant impact on its colour, size, shape, and growth characteristics, as well as the qualities of olive oil. Olive cultivars may be used primarily for oil, eating, or both. Olives cultivated for consumption are generally referred to as table olives.

Since many olive cultivars are self-sterile or nearly so, they are generally planted in pairs with a single primary cultivar and a secondary cultivar selected for its ability to fertilize the primary one. In recent times, efforts have been directed at producing hybrid cultivars with qualities such as resistance to disease, quick growth and larger or more consistent crops.
...

1. Green olives. Picked when they have obtained full size, but before the ripening cycle has begun. Usually shades of green to yellow.
2. Semi-ripe or turning-colour olives. Picked at the beginning of the ripening cycle, when the colour has begun to change from green to multi-colour shades of red to brown. Only the skin is coloured as the flesh of the fruit lacks pigmentation at this stage, unlike that of ripe olives.
3. Black olives or ripe olives. Picked at full maturity when fully ripe. Found in assorted shades of purple to brown to black.
...
Raw or fresh olives are naturally very bitter; to make them palatable, olives must be cured and fermented, thereby removing oleuropein, a bitter phenolic compound that can reach levels of 14% of dry matter in young olives. In addition to oleuropein, other phenolic compounds render freshly picked olives unpalatable and must also be removed or lowered in quantity through curing and fermentation. Generally speaking, phenolics reach their peak in young fruit and are converted as the fruit matures. (One exception is the throubes olive, which can be eaten fresh.) Once ripening occurs the levels of phenolics sharply decline through their conversion to other organic products which renders some cultivars edible immediately.

The curing process may take from a few days, with lye, to a few months with brine or salt packing. With the exception of California style and salt cured olives, all methods of curing involve a major fermentation involving bacteria and yeast that is of equal importance to the final table olive product. Traditional cures, using the natural microflora on the fruit to induce fermentation, lead to two important outcomes: the leaching out and breakdown of oleuropein and other unpalatable phenolic compounds, and the generation of favorable metabolites from bacteria and yeast, such as organic acids, probiotics, glycerol and esters, which affect the sensorial properties of the final table olives.

http://www.olivetomato.com/eat-olives-like-a-greek
GREEKOLIVES.jpg

definitely try the Throubes olives (see photo). These are unique, Greek, PDO status olives, that are consumed pretty much with almost no processing, they are picked when they are ripe, dried in the sun and lightly salted. They have a rich olive flavor without the vinegary taste of other type olives and research shows they have high levels of Oleuropein, a substance with strong antioxidant activity.

How To Grow Olives

The crop thrives best in climates with mild winters and long, dry, and warm summers.

  • Frost will kill many olive trees if care is not taken. Temperatures that hit 22 °F (−6 °C) can harm small branches, while large branches and even whole trees can be killed if the temperature dips below 15 °F (−9 °C). Even if branches and trees survive the cold, the flavor of the olives and the resultant oil can be compromised by cold streaks.

  • Olive trees do need a certain amount of cold, however. Proper flower development depends on the climate dipping to 45 °F (7 °C) or below, although this number alternates with olive tree varietals. This is why cultivation is extremely difficult in the tropics.

  • Make sure that bloom season is fairly dry and moderate. Bloom season (April to June) should be fairly dry and not excessively warm. Olives are wind-pollinated, so wet conditions can hamper a tree's fruit set.

  • Improper drainage is one of the leading causes of tree death for olive trees. Look for areas where water may accumulate and avoid them. Olive trees hate consistently wet soil. Planting your olive trees on a gentle slope can solve a lot of drainage problems.

  • Excessively fertile soil produces trees that are a little too exuberant for their own good. In fact, the best fruit is produced by trees in moderately fertile soil conditions.
    · Ideal conditions include moderately fine-textured soil, such as loam, that is well-drained and aerated for root growth. Sandy soils work fine, too, as do soils that are loose.
    · Soils that are nutrient-deficient can be corrected by adding 40 to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre, yearly. Planting cover crops (such as legumes) beside the olives, or adding compost to the soil is a popular way of delivering the necessary nitrogen.

  • The soil should be moderately acidic or moderately basic, with a pH greater than 5 and less than 8.5. Many farmers believe 6.5 to be ideal.

From video on that last page...

A seedling will be somewhere in the vicinity of 40 years plus before it gives you any fruit. A rooted cutting will start making olives usually about the third year, depending on the size.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-27 05:28:45)

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#244 2016-04-27 17:21:50

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

Having a green thumb is going to be in high demand for mars missions when it comes to clipping roots, grafting and other hybird growing methods....So where do we go from here with a diet plan and food list?

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#245 2016-04-27 18:27:32

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

We really need a dietitian. We can come up with things like light levels, air, soil, temperature. One issue is whether growing conditions of these crops are compatible. We may need different greenhouses with different growing conditions. For example, vegetables will have warm shirt-sleeve environment all year round: 668.5991 solar days per Martian year. But olive trees require a period of chill; not winter cold, but chill. Avocado likes warm conditions, in fact require winter temperatures above +45°F (~7°C). Commercial avocado trees are grown from grafted branches, choosing branches from trees that produce well. Apparently growing from seed produces inconsistent results.

Notice I came up with growth area estimates based on average North American consumption, and crop yields. I'm not a dietitian, can't come up with meal requirements. Can research published science papers on food nutrients, etc. But we really need someone who can come up with a meal plan. We can say "Mars will have this available, what meals and how much do we need?" Perhaps a chef could come up with more interesting meals from available ingredients.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-27 21:06:03)

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#246 2016-04-27 20:03:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,742

Re: Crops

I ran the calculator for survival that was posted and for a crew of 6 duration of 6 months the minimum for survival are below

Grains:

Wheat 450 lbs, *Flour 75 lbs, Corn Meal 75 lbs, Oats 75 lbs, Rice 150 lbs, Pasta 75 lbs, Total Grains 900 lbs

Fats and Oils:

Fats 12 lbs, Oils 6 gal, Mayonnaise 6 qts, Salad Dressing 3 qts, Peanut Butter 12 lbs, Total Fats 75 lbs

Legumes:

Beans, dry 90 lbs, Lima Beans 15 lbs, Soy Beans 30 lbs, Split Peas 15 lbs, Lentils 15 lbs, Dry Soup Mix 15 lbs, Total Legumes 180  lbs

Sugars:

Honey 9 lbs, Sugar 120 lbs, Brown Sugar 9 lbs, Molasses 3 lbs, Corn Syrup 9 lbs, Jams 9 lbs, Fruit Drink, powdered 18 lbs, Flavored Gelatin 3 lbs, Total Sugars 180 lbs

Milk:

Powdered Milk 180 lbs, Evaporated Milk 36 cans, Other 39 lbs, Total Dairy 225 lbs

Cooking Essentials:

Baking Powder 3 lbs, Baking Soda 3 lbs, Yeast 15 lbs, Salt 15 lbs, Vinegar 1.5 gal, Total

Water:

**Water 547.5 gal., Bleach 3 gal, Total

*Flour: If you regularly bake bread and other foods containing flour, the amount calculated may not be even close to enough, unless you have a grinder to make your own flour and have lots of wheat.

**Based on survival rations of 1/2 gallon per person per day. A gallon is 8.3 pounds.
More may be needed for cooking and bathing.

As the last line indicates no water was calculated in for cooking and nearly all of the supplies are dry goods....

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#247 2016-04-28 07:51:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,440

Re: Crops

My observations would be that as regards chickens they would be a nightmare in an air conditioned environment what with dust, feathers and dried faecal matter.  They are also notoriously liable to disease and birds can spread diseases to humans. Even if the disease element could be significantly reduced  through special breeding and quarantine over several years, I think the risk and the difficulties of keeping chickens in a confined environment are just too great. 

Food provision will I would suggest evolve gradually.  There's no need to go to a vegan diet, as humans will bring with them plenty of frozen, vaccuum packed and dried meat/eggs/milk. However,  I agree that  in order to save on transit costs, the first settlers will be on a low meat diet and there would be more focus on vegetables, nuts and pulses. 

Software programmes for the farm habs should be able to deliver ideal growing conditions from day 1.  Initially I imagine the focus will be on easy to grow items like salad vegetables such as lettuce and bean shoots.

When the time comes to develop ISRU animal farming, I think guinea pigs would probably be an ideal first choice, being small, manageable and low maintenance (and they could probably process a lot of the waste food).


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#248 2016-04-28 09:46:14

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

A couple things I didn't add to the menu. Should we add bean sprouts? That's typically "Mung bean" or "yellow soy". These aren't varieties used for other purposes. But could be nutritious; bean sprouts are said to be more nutritious and require less cooking than the bean they come from.

Mustard. Yellow mustard we know in North America is not just mustard seed. Brown mustard is just ground mustard seed, and mustard powder as a spice is dry ground mustard seed. To make it yellow you have to add a spice called turmeric. It's very yellow, in fact often used as yellow food colouring, and very tasty. Mustard seed is a grain. Turmeric is made from rhizomes (roots) of the turmeric plant. Turmeric is a herb. Turmeric requires warm wet growing conditions.

I included beets became they're an ingredient for veggie meat substitutes. Should we include "borscht"? It would be Polish borscht, not Russian borscht; that means beet soup with no beef stock. No cattle = no beef. And borscht is often served with a tablespoon of sour cream, but no cattle = no dairy.

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#249 2016-04-28 09:48:41

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,876
Website

Re: Crops

what guinea pigs can eat

One concern: Vegans. The local chapter of the Mars Society had a wanna-be vegan, and I have a few vegan friends. When I talked about Mars being purely vegan, they liked that. But carnivorous members didn't. So I mentioned transporting fertilized chicken eggs, and hibernating cattle; but only after the settlement has a population of about 1,000. Carnivorous members liked that, but vegans didn't. Then the "Cabbage Girls" from PETA showed at an event where Elon Musk spoke. Elon said he isn't the "Overlord of Mars". Sorry Elon, I'm the one who stirred up the vegans.

One lady my age joined the local science fiction club. When I was in college, I found girlfriends there. It was a way for me to get to know a girl before screwing up the courage to ask her for a date. Membership of the club in early 1980s was several hundred, but in the 21st century it dwindled to a couple dozen. Most married or with someone. When a very pretty, single woman with common interests joined the club, I got interested. She was interested in spending time with me. She also was financially "stressed". She had a business walking dogs, vegan and glucose intolerant. (Not a good combination.) She also had a tiny older house. At one point she said her parents held the mortgage to her house, asked me to sell my house, pay off the mortgage of her house, and move in with her. Uh, what! That's forward. That's something a husband would do. I had spent some time with her, but we hadn't had a "date" yet, and hadn't even kissed. I wanted to get to know her first. Then I discovered she had a boyfriend; he lived in another province, flew into our city on statutory holidays. My house is tiny and older, but I completely paid off the mortgage. Equity in this house represents my entire life savings. She wants me to do basically kill myself, and became what? I'm sure she would kick me out of her house as soon as her boyfriend came back to town. So no. And to emphasize *NO*! I won't do that. She's still a friend, but just a friend. However, she's vegan. Purely vegan. She's also a Facebook friend so I get a lot of Facebook stuff. I have a politician friend who's vegan, and know several other activists who are vegan. They're quite passionate. Making Mars purely vegan would attract those people.

I've tried to be a politician. I won the nomination in my electoral district for one of the two major political parties in Canada for the 2008 federal election. That's when my serious problems began. Someone seriously buried me. But with the goal of attracting the most people, since Mars must be mostly vegan anyway, why not be purely vegan? That would attract the vegans to our cause?

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-04-28 12:42:22)

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#250 2016-04-28 11:45:46

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Crops

SpaceNut wrote:

Grains:
Wheat 450 lbs, *Flour 75 lbs, Corn Meal 75 lbs, Oats 75 lbs, Rice 150 lbs, Pasta 75 lbs, Total Grains 900 lbs

That is, as SpaceNut said, required for a crew of 6 for 6 months. By arithmetic, that means a permanent settlement of 100 would need annually (Earth years, so 12 months) 15,000 lb of wheat, 2,500 lb of corn, 2,500 lb of oats, and 5,000 lb of rice. So 25,000 lb of grains total, which seems daunting.

Let's convert these into bushels. Calculations from https://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/scales/bushels.html beget 40 bushels (rounded up for defensive pessimism purposes) of corn in the ear, 80 bushels (ditto) of oats, and (per http://norganics.com/index-2/technical- … ht-table/), 85 bushels (ditto) of rice, and the more pessimistic http://wheatlife.org/aboutwheat.html yields 360 (ditto) bushels of wheat.

In Missouri, Corn yield has ranged from 9.3 bushels/acre in 1934 to 186 bushels/acre in 2014 (http://crops.missouri.edu/audit/corn.htm). I'm going to assume Mars has taken advantage of the Green Revolution, but not quite to Missouri's extreme; so I'll somewhat arbitrarily assign corn to 150 bushels/acre; this results in 0.26666 acres being needed for corn to feed the hundred (I personally think Corn, given such density, will be a choice crop for agriculture.). Wheat provides 65 bushels per acre, so the colony will be using 5.54 acres for their wheat. The average farm in Arkansas in 2010 raised 72.4 bushels/acre of rice (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/e … ntryID=380), so I'll assume Mars does the same, thus needing 1.18 acres of riceland. Oats have ~100 bushels/acre per http://www.coolbean.info/pdf/small_grai … _Tests.pdf, thus requiring the colony to use 0.8 acres to their uses.

This ultimately means that these colonists would have to use 7.78666 acres of farmland for their grain, 71.14% of which would be for wheat. With such data, this would mean a square mile, or 640 acres, would provide the grain needs of 8,219 people.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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