Update 3: Vegan Butchers in Space

In our last update 8 days ago, the zinnias had just sprouted. We're happy to share that the carrots have sprouted, too! The plants in all four pots appear to be thriving and require watering every 2 to 3 days. (Zinnias are the blue pot, carrots are the brown pot.)

Our astronaut friend Josh is busy writing grants to help us fund the simulated mission at the Mars Desert Research Station next summer. We've also been contacted by another astronaut on the mission, Lewis Smithingham, and hope to figure out a fun collaboration with him. He's the mission's Journalist and Virtual Reality Director - we're not 100% sure what that entails, but we're certain it's a pretty cool gig.

We also purchased some wheat and hope to plant some seeds very soon. Stay tuned!

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Update 2: Vegan Butchers In Space

The zinnias are sprouting! We planted zinnias and carrots on May 5, and when we came in on May 9, we found these little zinnia sprouts.

So far, we've watered them a little every other day because the Mars Regolith Simulant seems to dry out quickly. Both carrots and zinnias like full sun, so we have them in the window at the front of the shop which faces southeast. It gets pretty warm there when the sun is out, so that probably contributes to the MRS drying out.

Hopefully the carrots will sprout soon, too!

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Update 1: Vegan Butchers in Space

Our astronaut friend, Josh Borchardt, stopped by this week for two reasons.

1. To pick up meals that we will potentially make for the astronauts for their 2 week simulated Mars mission in the summer of 2017.

2. To drop off some space dirt (Mars Regolith Simulant) to see if we can grow carrots and zinnias.

The space dirt isn't really from space; it's provided by NASA and very closely resembles the the surface of Mars. Did you know that they've already grown food fit for consumption on the International Space Station?

NASA started with lettuce because leafy greens are pretty easy keepers, but most recently they tried zinnias which are more temperamental. And amazingly, it worked! (See photo below.) They hope that growing zinnias is a step towards growing tomatoes which are also higher maintenance when it comes to food plants.

Much like sharing meals together positively impacts the astronauts' mental well being, growing plants on a mission can also provide a sense of community. Needless to say, we're excited to help out with both of these aspects by providing food and assisting with plant growth studies. 

When you stop into the shop, feel free to check on the progress of our space plants (carrots in the brown pots and zinnias in the blue pots) but please do not touch! We will continue to provide regular updates on our Vegan Butchers in Space mission.

What food would you not be able to go without in space?

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