Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-10-2014, 21:38   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Composting Anyone?

We will be living aboard in the near future, and I am interesting in trying to grow a few vegetables. One of the complicating issues, as I see it, is replenishing and maintaining healthy soil. Has anyone had any success growing veggies on board, and possibly composting?
Thanks, Linda
__________________

__________________
cajoledcruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 21:50   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Re: Composting Anyone?

Hi Linda and welcome to the forum,

This is a question that comes up periodically and you can find several previous threads on the subject with the forum search function.

Bottom line, most veggies take a good deal of space and a few months before you get anything to eat. Also, if you're on the ocean the salt air is a killer for a lot of plants.

Growing a few herbs and spices could work but I really can't think of many vegetables that would yield much to eat for the time and space it would take.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 22:12   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Re: Composting Anyone?

Oh and composting. To get from food scraps to soil would also take some weeks. To break down the scraps most quickly you would want to stir the mix frequently, keep moist and aerated. If you're constantly adding fresh food scraps to the same batch of compost you will be mixing this with the stuff that's composting so always have chunks. If you set up so you add new scraps to the top and take compost from the bottom it's tricky to get the scraps to compost quickly.

If you plan on living on board in the Caribbean there's generally lots of local produce available at the markets.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 22:26   #4
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Composting Anyone?

For greens onboard, I think that there are generally 3 ways that folks go. Although I'd surely be interested to hear about more. But to my knowledge, there's:
- Storing
- Sprouting (which is a great one, albeit somewhat underused)
- Harvesting from the sea. I need to do some studying on this, but there's a LOT o' greens in Neptune's Realm which are great.

On the composting thing. I can't say that I've studied on it, but when I dated a gal who had a ranch, she told me that their manure needed to be "turned" (mixed maybe) for a year before it was okay to use as fertilizer.
I gather that the length of time, & the "turning" (aeration) was to let the bad (unhealthy for humans) bacteria, die off, & the good bacteria grow.

And in the US at least, I'm thinking that human manure isn't even allowed to be used as fertilizer... but, that be one which would require some researching... were I interested in trying it, which I ain't.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 09:52   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 596
Re: Composting Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
For greens onboard, I think that there are generally 3 ways that folks go. Although I'd surely be interested to hear about more. But to my knowledge, there's:
- Storing
- Sprouting (which is a great one, albeit somewhat underused)
- Harvesting from the sea. I need to do some studying on this, but there's a LOT o' greens in Neptune's Realm which are great.

On the composting thing. I can't say that I've studied on it, but when I dated a gal who had a ranch, she told me that their manure needed to be "turned" (mixed maybe) for a year before it was okay to use as fertilizer.
I gather that the length of time, & the "turning" (aeration) was to let the bad (unhealthy for humans) bacteria, die off, & the good bacteria grow.

And in the US at least, I'm thinking that human manure isn't even allowed to be used as fertilizer... but, that be one which would require some researching... were I interested in trying it, which I ain't.
I don't think the OP was talking about using the "compost" from a composting toilet to grow food. At least I hope not. Food growing compost is made from plants and maybe some non meeting eating critter manure. I suppose one could make some on a boat but it is going to take up space as will the plants.

Using human waste for growing food is not allowed in the US. In NC, sludge from sewage treatment plants can be spread on fields growing non human food products and is regulated.

We thought about using a boat shower to turn into a grow room for plants. Errrrr, let me be specific, veggy plants to eat. There is a chain of garden stores in NC that sells garden supplies, beer/wine making supplies and equipment as well as hydroponic systems for growing indoors.

It seems that most of the their customers are looking to grow in small spaces and that their stores are near or in university towns...

You can grow quite a bit of food with hydroponics in a small space. The biggest issue is having enough light. The biggest problem with the garden shower idea we have is light. Running grow lights would be expensive power wise. Even LED lights are using huge amounts of power. One of the smallest LED lights I saw was 90 watts and they have them up to at least 600 watts! If the boat has to generate that power from fuel, you might be growing some expensive veggies.

At least the LED's don't generate heat like other light types.

If one 100 watt light will work in our hypothetical shower grow room, running 12 hours a day, means you need over a kilowatt of power. There are reflective, insulated, panels at the store I mentioned, that are designed to work in a closet so they should work in a shower space. But I would think you would still need more than one light since you would want to maximize food production per square foot so you would want to have stacked plants which is almost certainly going to take more lights and thus power.

I have thought about having a hatch build in over the shower but that is another hole in the deck... Not sure I like that idea....

If the boat is traveling outside the US, some countries will are likely to take the soil, seed, and plants when checking in. With hydroponics you might have to get rid of the plants and the media but you could clean that up before check in and maybe save the media if worth saving.

Later,
Dan
__________________
dannc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 11:22   #6
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Composting Anyone?

It's impossible to have a garden on a boat. And there are no YouTube videos on making worm bins for composting food scraps into the best possible soil.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1414343977489.jpg
Views:	181
Size:	148.4 KB
ID:	90378  
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 12:49   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Composting Anyone?

Stick to sprouting, unless you have a 60'+ multihull.

Sent from my SCH-I200PP using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Take two at low eight
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 19:43   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Re: Composting Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
It's impossible to have a garden on a boat. And there are no YouTube videos on making worm bins for composting food scraps into the best possible soil.
Oh it's quite possible to have a garden on a boat. Fill half your cockpit with plants for 2-3 months and you can grow enough lettuce and tomatoes for a couple of salads. Fill the other half of your cockpit with compost bins and you can make enough dirt in 2-3 months to grow another salad.

Of course if you actually go sailing with the boat then all bets are off.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 22:35   #9
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Composting Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Oh it's quite possible to have a garden on a boat. Fill half your cockpit with plants for 2-3 months and you can grow enough lettuce and tomatoes for a couple of salads. Fill the other half of your cockpit with compost bins and you can make enough dirt in 2-3 months to grow another salad.

Of course if you actually go sailing with the boat then all bets are off.
Reality check. 8" of aft end of cockpit for planters. Small to medium waist basket for worm farm. 1 month first harvest baby greens.(thin out) After 3-4 months, continuous kale , Swiss chard and green onion for about 2years. Everglades tomatoes produce indefinitely. Mine took 9months to really produce because I did not cover them when in a storm. But now have enough to feed trolls. Mabe not round the world but my kale n swiss chard flourished on my trip from Maryland to Florida. PS I have some chives that are indestructible.
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 07:40   #10
Registered User
 
Kestle's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 53
Re: Composting Anyone?

Sparrowhawk,

Could you provide a few more details or pictures?

Thanks...
__________________
Kestle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 21:32   #11
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Composting Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestle View Post
Sparrowhawk,

Could you provide a few more details or pictures?

Thanks...
I go into the details with photos on the thread growing food and the thread growing plants onboard. Seems like the best search word to use is gardening.
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2014, 09:30   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 116
Re: Composting Anyone?

Red worm composting is the way to go. As Sparrowhawk says greens are very simple. Sprouts, and herbs would all be very doable. Tomatoes, peppers and most heavy feeders would be more difficult and probably not worth the time, energy or space but that depends on your motivation, time and space. My house and garden are filled with all sorts of plants. I am sure that if I ever do cruise long term at a minimum I would have a Pothos hanging in my cabin. Good luck.
__________________
Waterrat10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2014, 07:31   #13
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Composting Anyone?

When I sprout I put the roots that I cut off into a paper bag and let them dry out and then sprinkle them on my garden as mulch. This helps cut down on evaporation through the soil and eventually break down to be very rich matter
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2014, 16:00   #14
Registered User
 
jkindredpdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35'
Posts: 1,047
Images: 5
Re: Composting Anyone?

Now that my composting toilet is operational, I'm thinking of using Vermicomposting (a.k.a. Composting with Worms) | Composting 101 to speed up decomposition in my secondary compost bin and including organic waste. Thinking step three will be 36" x 6" planter for greens and herbs.
__________________
http://www.sednahr35.blogspot.com/ Jim K.
jkindredpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2014, 09:55   #15
Registered User
 
BobH260's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 160
Re: Composting Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post

And in the US at least, I'm thinking that human manure isn't even allowed to be used as fertilizer... but, that be one which would require some researching... were I interested in trying it, which I ain't.
My understanding is the composting or digesting of meat or human waste has to be done at high temperatures in order to kill pathogens. It has been done for years in Millwaukee, they sell their sewage to gardeners as "Milorganite", Milorganite | What is Milorganite?

Bob
__________________

__________________
BobH260 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
posting

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dry Composting Head - Installed and in Use Simes Liveaboard's Forum 9 07-08-2009 16:19
Composting Toilets Maren Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 38 16-05-2009 11:21
Composting Toilets? markpj23 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 34 23-09-2008 09:17
Dry Composting Marine Toilet? Simes Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 0 21-09-2008 09:26



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.