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?