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Old 28-06-2014, 14:14   #1
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Growing food on a boat

Does anyone grow food on their boat? I'm hoping to catch a lot of fish and eat a lot of rice and beans to travel long distances on the cheap. Was thinking of keeping at least a basil plant growing on board. Any suggestions about other plants or any help? thanks!
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:19   #2
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Re: Growing food on a boat

I was growing aloe vera in my first boat. But plants don t like sailing, once the boat heel there s always something to damage them.
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:34   #3
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Re: Growing food on a boat

Liquid Metal,

There was another thread on this subject some time in the last 3 months or so. You might try to search for it. Many good ideas were expressed.

I have a friend who was doing hydroponic herb gardening, but after a year or so, the aphids found the plants and decimated them. Those plants were kept secure under the dodger, and did not move around much.

Way long time ago Eric and Susan Hiscock grew red leaf lettuce in boxes constructed and subject to some salt spray. The salt isn't good for the plants. If you're going to have them outdoors, you need to have a "rain coat" for them.

I have kept aloe on board, but if you're going foreign, living plants will be confiscated. Some places let you harvest the plants, but their quarantine takes away the soil, searches for bugs, and you never see that again.

We've sprouted mung beans and fenugreek seeds, and they are good added to vinaigrettes.

Cabbage and carrots keep well for a long time without refrigeration. The carrots get limp, but cook up okay.

If you have overhand head rails, you can put the pots in a tray and sling a hammock for the plants. They like to go outside into the bright sun when there's no spray.

Ann
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Old 28-06-2014, 17:29   #4
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Re: Growing food on a boat

Reid Stowe was a guy that went for a time at sea record (1,000 days) - he had his 15 minutes of fame and polarized the community a bit.

Anyhoo - about all I recall him growing sustainably were sprouts. And because he had provisioned a fair amount of cheese, many derided his effort as the sprouts and cheese run...

He had a blog and there was a super huge thread on another forum.
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Old 28-06-2014, 17:48   #5
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Re: Growing food on a boat

haha thats great the sprouts and cheese run. interesting read thanks!
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Old 28-06-2014, 18:00   #6
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Re: Growing food on a boat

Grow something that is tolerant to salt. It's everywere in a boat. Just wipe your finger on the most remote corner and taste it.
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Old 28-06-2014, 18:10   #7
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Re: Growing food on a boat

I would think as was already said the soil would make it a non-starter.
I am traveling off and on to 18 different countries for work and I am always answering the question...Do I have any plants or vegetables. I am also retired Navy and I know too well the cleaning drill to come home...No dirt allowed...
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Old 28-06-2014, 18:14   #8
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Re: Growing food on a boat

"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.
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Old 30-06-2014, 19:21   #9
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There's a previous thread titled "growing food." Seems like I'm the only one doing it. Just gave an update.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:23   #10
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Re: Growing food on a boat

I've grown mold before, on bread... Didn't try to eat it there :P
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:55   #11
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Re: Growing food on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanride007 View Post
"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.

Later,
Dan
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:08   #12
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Sprouting rocks. hard to do in the summer in Florida. But you haven't had hummus until you've had it with sprouted chickpeas. And broccoli sprouts have up to 50 times the nutrition of broccoli
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:19   #13
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Re: Growing food on a boat

We have been growing some stuff at the dock as a test this year. I wrote a post on our blog about it. I am using an Earthbox. It's working great so far.

Had some nice mojitos this weekend with some of the mint.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:01   #14
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Re: Growing food on a boat

Dan-
You can buy pint or quart H2O2 at 40% in any hair or beauty supply store. It is used as hair bleach. Might upset the bilge pump but it isn't terribly caustic or noxious compared to common acids in that concentration.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:12   #15
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If you're using hydrogen peroxide on food it needs to be food grade. Its pretty expensive though
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