Growing Beyond Earth (60 day trial)

Continual harvesting Description: To ensure a steady supply of fresh produce to be available for astronauts, species for continual harvesting are of high interest. In this longer-term investigation, students will grow a selection of species preselected through trial one and two for their potential of continual harvesting. Students will be asked to research the plants or cultivars and conduct a plant phenology study while harvesting over a longer period of time (60 days). Materials and Tools:  4” square pots with watering holes in the bottom  Trays to allow bottom watering  Potting mix ( Fafard #2 peat/perlite mixed with turface proleague clay at a 50:50 ratio)  Fertilizer (a combination of Nutricote 18 -6-8 T100 and T180 in different rates and ratios randomly assigned to schools)  Bekett felt underlayment to line the trays  trafficMaster rug gripper  A balance that reads in grams to weigh plant tissue. A small kitchen scale might work well.  Rulers to measure plant height and width (in cm and mm)  Markers  Thermometers and hygrometer  Tape or plant labels (wooden or plastic)  Any additional lights  Seeds of potential candidates randomly assigned to schools.  Lab notebook Procedure: One growth period of 60 days will be monitored by the students. The placement of the plants will be randomized in order to reduce the effect of environmental conditions that cannot be controlled, such as ceiling air conditioner vents, overhead classroom lights, and natural sunlight shining through windows. For randomization, please use https://www.random.org/sequences/ (see protocol for trial 1 and 2).

Pot preparation: Media preparation: The media in which the plants will be grown will consist of Fafard # 2, (a commercial potting mix containing Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Perlite, Vermiculite, Dolomitic Limestone, and a Wetting Agent), and un-sieved turface (a soil amendment made of baked calcined clay). This will be mixed with controlled release fertilizer. Students will prepare a total of 12 liters of media with which 16 4” pots will be filled. It is expected that there will be some media remaining after the 16 pots are filled. A total amount of 500 ml of media will be added to each 4” pot. To make the media, add 6 L of turf face to 6 L of Fafard #2. Then add the assigned fertilizer. Mix the three components together thoroughly, and then add tap water and mix with water until damp. Add tap water in small batches and mix until the media will clump together when squeezed in your hand. Put 500 ml of media in each of the 4” pots. DO NOT pack it down. Just tap the bottom of the pot gently on the table to cause the media to settle in a downward direction. Leave about ½ inch of space between the top of the media to the top of the pot. Mark the front of the pot for later measuring procedures. Cover the tray with the rug gripper and felt underlayment and place the pots on top. Ensure that the shelf and tray are LEVELED properly. Adjust the screws on the bottom of the shelf posts to level the rack if necessary. Uneven leveling will lead uneven watering causing water to pool and dry areas. Planting: Plant two seeds of each cultivar in each pot. For example, 2 seeds of Chinese Cabbage „Tokyo Bekana“ GBE 2, depending on which cultivar your class has been assigned, will be planted in each of 4 pots. Once this is complete, students should have planted a total of 8 seeds in 4 separate pots. Repeat this process for each of the other 4 cultivars provided by Fairchild. Place the carpet grip and felt liners in the watering trays, fuzzy side up. Place the watering tray on the lighted rack. Pour 500 ml of tap water in the tray, and make sure the felt is moist evenly across the tray. Adjust the screws on the bottom of the shelf posts to level the rack if necessary. Place the pots in the tray in their pre-determined locations. Within 30 minutes, most of the water should be absorbed by the soil in the pots, but the felt will still be moist. There is no preset watering schedule but 500 ml every second day in the beginning and later 750 ml every second day with bigger plants may be sufficient. Increase the watering over the weekend.

Maintenance and Record Keeping: • Once the seeds have germinated, thin them down by removing the smallest plant. This should be done about 4-7 days after planting if both seeds germinate. If the removed plant pulls out intact, a student or the teacher can plant this seedling in another pot as a plant that someone can take home and grow for themselves. It will not be used in the experiment. • The plants will be exposed to light for 12 hours a day. A timer will be used to set the lights on and off sequence. • Check the moisture level of the felt, temperature and humidity every day, and add water to the tray (not the pots) when necessary. Keep the felt moist, but do not overwater. Recommended watering for the first two weeks of plant grow are 500 ml every second day and a little more on Friday. It will also help to add water from two or three sides of the shelf to distribute the water more evenly. There should not be standing water visible above the surface of the felt, but a little water underneath in the rug gripper. Plants should be watered on Friday to carry them through the weekend. As the plants grow more water will be needed. • When water is added to the tray, record the date and the amount of water added. • All experiments should take place in the classroom rather than a greenhouse.  Students should use a science journal for their procedures, data collection and observations. Students should record the measurement in the journal and then transfer it to the online datasheet. The data will go directly into a spreadsheet to be seen by the scientists and the submitting school.  The following data should be collected once a week and collected again 7 to 8 days later: o Cultivar name and its position label information o time of data collection o day of experiment (as days after planting) o the sum of the amount of water in milliliters that has been added to the tray over the past 7-8 days o room temperature

o temperature and humidity inside the box  The following data should be collected once growth has reached the stage where these plant parts are visible if the plant has them. Depending on the plants chosen by the students, some may not have flowers: o Date of germination for all plants (germination is when the stem first appears as a little bump just coming out of the soil o Day of germination (which day in the growth period did germination occur? Day 4, Day 10, etc.) o Number of seeds in each pot that germinated o Date and Day when first true leaf appears o Date and Day when first bud appears o Date and Day of appearance of the first flower  The following data should be collected weekly: o Number of leaves o Plant Height from media surface in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm) o Plant width from left to right in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm) o Plant width from front to back in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm)

Continual harvesting:  The following data should be collected weekly: o Number of leaves o Plant Height from media surface in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm) o Plant width from left to right in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm) o Plant width from front to back in tenths of a centimeter (e.g. 10.2 cm) o Plant health  For the harvest (depending on species, starting in week three)

o Number of leaves removed from the plant o Total edible fresh mass of the removed leaves When the leaves of your plant are starting to obstruct the neighboring plants it is time to start harvesting your leaves. Look at the base of your plant where the rosette starts or where leaves appear from the soil, and determine the oldest leaves. For most varieties, the large outer/older leaves (outer rosette) can be harvested by carefully cutting, breaking or clipping the leaves of the outer rosette. Leave the smaller inner leaves to grow further and to be harvested at a later date. Other plants can be pruned by cutting the longer shoots. For flowering plants, students can harvest the fruit and continue to make observations on how harvesting all or a few fruit changes the growth of the plant. Final harvesting: Cultivar name Plant position number Number of leaves Plant height (in cm) Plant width left to right (in cm) Plant depth front to back (in cm) Plant health status Total # of leaves harvested Edible mass prior to final harvest Total fresh mass of inedible plant material (excluding roots in media, which are hard to remove and measure; do not weigh the whole pot) o Total fresh mass of edible plant material (Edible plant material is the portion of the plant that a person would typically eat. Also, see the Growing Beyond Earth: Experimental Plants list on www.fairchildchallenge.org.) o Total edible fresh mass of the plant o o o o o o o o o o

For plants that have fruit, record the following when applicable: o Total # of fruit o Total fruit weight (Weigh each fruit individually, total all the weights together, and find the average [mean] and the standard deviation.) o Total # of ripe or edible fruit o Total fresh weight of ripe or edible fruit o Total # of unripe or immature fruit

o Total fresh weight of unripe or immature fruit

To measure fresh mass: If you use a plate or container for your leaves, use tare or deduct the weight of the container. 1) Pick fruit before taking this measurement. 2) Cut the harvested leaves from the plant, and place them on the scale. 3) Cut the plant from its pot and roots before weighing plant fresh mass. 4) Weigh the total plant leaves and stem in the middle of a scale that shows grams to the tenth place. 5) To obtain edible mass, weigh the edible portion separately. To obtain inedible mass, subtract edible mass from the total mass. To measure growing plant height during the experiment, use a ruler and measure from media surface height to the top node or apex or to the top height of leaves when plant is standing upright. Try not to handle the plant. At harvest, cut the plant, and lay it against a ruler to get the harvested height. (See detailed instructions and pictures in protocol for trial 1 and 2.) To measure plant diameter of leafy plants: Facing the marking on the pot towards you: 1) Measure the longest point to the longest point of the true leaves on what would be the x axis of the plant if it were sitting in the middle of a graph (left to right width) 2) Repeat this process on the y axis of the plant (front to back depth) 3) The diameter of the plant can be found by adding the measurements from 1 and 2 and calculating the average from those two numbers. 4) Please see pictures at the end of the protocol for trial one and two for examples. The Google spreadsheet (60 day trial) is already set up for you. The spreadsheets work basically the same as in the first trials. Two columns per week were added. The number of harvested leaves and edible mass will be calculated automatically for the final harvest. Please contact us at [email protected] with questions.

Seeds and fertilizer rates/ratios Control — All schools will grow 4 pots of GBE2. ID

Name

Family

Species

GBE2

Chinese Cabbage

Brassicaceae

Brassica rapa var chinensis Tokyo Bekana

Variety

Assigned — Fairchild will randomly assign three of these varieties to each school. ID

Name

Family

Species

Variety

GBE32

Fine leaf basil

Lamiaceae

Ocimum basilicum

Pluto

GBE59

Pak Choi

Brassicaceae

Brassica rapa

Purple Magic

GBE62

Dark green cutting celery

Apiaceae

Apium graveolens

GBE63

Kinh gioi

Lamiaceae

Elsholtzia ciliata

GBE64

Mitsuba

Apiaceae

Cryptotaenia japonica

GBE72

Lemon balm

Lamiaceae

Melissa officinales

GBE73

Parsley

Apiaceae

Petroselinum crispum

GBE74

Dill

Apiaceae

Anethum graveolens

GBE83

Dragon Lettuce

Asteraceae

Lactuca sativa

GBE84

Dwarf grey sugar peas

Fabaceae

Pisum Sativum

GBE87

Borage

Boraginaceae

Borago officinalis

GBE89

Petit snap green peas

Fabaceae

Pisum Sativum

Lisette

xxx

xxx

Continual harvesting fp.pdf

Potting mix ( Fafard #2 peat/perlite mixed with turface proleague clay at a 50:50. ratio). Fertilizer (a combination of Nutricote 18 -6-8 T100 and T180 in different ...

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