At Galactic Farms we are having fun maintaining the systems that we operate and eagerly await reports from the systems operated by the crew in isolation in the Mars HI-SEAS simulation. We are seeing good results with some plants, but not others. Our experiences have shown us that there is potential for year round medium scale local production of leafy greens and herbs for Western Montana.
At the beginning of the year, we decided we needed to build a standard system using technology geared towards production of high demand crops. We applied for the GTA grant in January, but did not give ourselves enough time to complete the application properly. We did not receive funding, but were encouraged to reapply in September. Lesson learned – start earlier!
In hindsight, not receiving funding so early may have been a blessing because this summer our energies were free to direct towards improving the Galactic Farms home base. We have completed remodeling of our basement apartment, which is now occupied by a lovely, community oriented woman. We have spent the rest of the summer putting in raised beds with lasagna style sheet mulching and have been establishing herb, fruit, and nut bearing perennials. We feel much more grounded having been able to complete these projects before embarking on an expansion into legitimate food production.
We are reviewing our grant application now to reflect a more holistic business model that leaves room for discovery, rather than a pure production focus. Update on that GTA application will be reported in September!