Originally Posted by Oceanride007
"Sailing the farm" by Ken Neumeyer is a pretty impressive book. I got a pdf version, it'll be worth while to get the book. It'll alert you to all sorts of possibilities.
My wife and I have been discussing growing food on a boat and she found this book in PDF over the weekend. I glanced through the book and it was mostly stuff we had already discussed. It was good information but most of it was not new to us. However...
The Big DUH in the book was SPROUTING. It seems some obvious once we read what he was doing that we wondered how we did not think of it.
One can sprout all sorts of beans/seeds. It just takes water
, a few days and a little bit of space. No energy required for grow lights, I looked at LED grow lights and they were still pretty "expensive" in terms of power. Sprouts do not need to be cook or require very little energy to cook. All of this is great to have a on boat.
Beans and seeds are cheap
to buy, store well, and a five gallon pail is around 30-35 pounds of beans which will last a very long time. Sprouting is a good way to vary the diet even though one is starting from the same bean.
Oddly, even though the sprouts are kept in no light or low light they somehow manage to increase some nutrients.
Sprouts can have Ecoli and other issues but I found a government
document that said to heat 3% hydrogen peroxide to 140 degree and soak the bean for 5 minutes to sanitize them. This lead me to search of large amounts of hydrogen peroxide and Amazon sells gallon jugs of the chemical at 35%. I figure a gallon would last us a year. 35% is a dangerous concentration though...
We happen to eat quite a bit of dried fruit and nuts. We just found dried okra and string beans in the market which are surprisingly good to eat. This is a good thing because we lost
power last night right at dinner time so I had almonds, dried okra, and dried bananas for dinner.
We have been drying fruits for years and we finished up drying 13.5 pounds of blue berry leather last night. 13.5 pounds of blue berry leather, once cut up into a portion is about the size of a small paper back book.
Sunday, I soaked a pound of lentils and after the blue berry leather was done, I put the beans on the trays in the dehydrator. The trays are perfect since they allow the bean to drain and will allow us to easily rinse the lentils 3-4 times a day. Two pound of lentils took up four drays and we have five trays empty so we could easily sprout 4-5 beans at one time. The dehydrator is not one but I think it will make a great place to sprout since it allows us to use the space and it keeps the sprouts in the dark.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
I think sprouting is a good, cheap, easy way to "garden" on a boat. Keeping Basil and other herbs would seem to be problematic but if one has enough light I could see growing small variety tomatoes and maybe some herbs.