Tags: vegetables | submarines | garden | navy

Vegetables in Submarines May Become Reality With Small Indoor Gardens

Vegetables in Submarines May Become Reality With Small Indoor Gardens
In this June 22, 2016 photo, Don Holman, an engineer at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Mass., holds sprouted kale under LED grow lights inside a refurbished shipping container. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By    |   Thursday, 07 July 2016 04:30 PM

Vegetable gardens may be coming to submarines after a U.S. Navy program has begun experimenting with the best undersea growing conditions.

The $100,000 project is testing hydroponic gardening inside a 40-foot shipping container at the Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center near Boston, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Engineering technician Don Holman, who is conducting the test, will present a report in September to help the Navy decide whether to attempt gardening at sea.

"When you give someone something they want, it improves their morale. And they perform better when morale is up," Holman said.

Holman is determining which plants grow best and produce the most produce under cramped circumstances.

"I doubt that every meal could have fresh fruits and vegetables," Retired Navy Capt. Ronald Steed told the AP, "but if you could do it from time to time, it takes something that's really essential to crew morale and makes it better."

Progress toward growing fruits and vegetables under such restricted conditions will bring benefits beyond the Navy, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

"I think it could allow us to travel farther and be more comfortable, whether that’s underwater or above the atmosphere," said Erik Biksa, editor and co-founder of Grozine, a hydroponics magazine.

In Italy, Nemo’s Garden, a project by Ocean Reef Group, is growing plants in submerged pods.

The International Space Station has also hosted a greenhouse since 2002, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

"If we’re ever going to go to Mars someday, and we will, we’re going to need a spacecraft that is much more sustainable," astronaut Scott Kelly told The Guardian. "Having the ability for us to grow our own food is a big step in that direction."

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Vegetable gardens may be coming to submarines after a U.S. Navy program has begun experimenting with the best undersea growing conditions.
vegetables, submarines, garden, navy
286
2016-30-07
Thursday, 07 July 2016 04:30 PM
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