Growing Plants in Space – is it possible to grow our own food on other planets, millions of miles away from Earth?

This is a questions that space biologists need our help to determine and this experiment has been introduced to schools to help support our better understanding.

Our yrs7 and 9 students have taken on board the experiment linked to the International Space Station and the British astronaut Tim Peake’s activity of growing in a controlled sample of seeds that have orbited the earth alongside those that have not. Wow.

Packs of seed with precise instructions were received and the experiment was launched.

Planting, labelling and watering of the rocket seeds (Eruca Sativa) is being undertaken by a combination of our STEM, Farm & Horticultural club members. Records are being kept on a daily basis by students recording several observations

The number of days it took for the first seed in each tray to geminate.How many seeds as a percentage germinated by day 10. How long did it take for the seedlings to develop true leaves. Calculate the number of seedilings alive on day 17.

We will eventually return our records for analysis after the 35 day experiment. Our students are now guessing as to which seeds have been on the space station and which haven’t. Perhaps in the future food labels may have details relating to PLANET of origin !

The early morning cold snaps and snow storm in early March seem to be lingering and caution is the word for planting out tender vegetable plants with Peas, Beans and Tomato plants still being protected in the Poly – tunnel.

Recent incubation activity linked with several local primary schools has resulted in the rehoming of their chicks to our school farm. Our new birds are now laying on a more regular basis allowing our farm club members to collect the eggs once again. A busy time ahead for everyone while learing how to care for them all.

TRA members visiting both at the allotment and farm continue with shared responsibility being observed.

A “Grow it Eat it” activity took place at the Allotment  during April with local tennants from the Chatterbox centre being introduced to growing vegetables and flowers. The three week course was very well attended. So let’s hope for a good crop in the months to come.