Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED
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:
- 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.