Growing Lunar Herbs
Near-Term Business Plan Summary
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Living in artificial atmospheres reduces a person’s ability to taste food. Eating in Space quickly becomes boring.
Very early in the lunar settlement’s history we need to learn to grow our own food. The cost of bringing food from Earth is a settlement killer.
A start on the solution to both the problems can be found by growing herbs. Selling our excess crop back on Earth, even from the earliest days, will help offset the cost of developing our agriculture.
Growing Lunar Herbs works well under the Near-Term Business Scenario.
Why selling Lunar Herbs will work
We must learn to grow food on the Moon quickly to eliminate the high cost of shipping food from Earth. At first this activity will be limited to small volumes within the living areas. From the start, herbs are a good choice for our first crops. Many herbs come in small hearty varieties that grow quickly.
Once even a small stand of an herb is established, the expected output will exceed the needs of the small lunar population. Freeze drying the excess will make the product very light so that it can be shipped back to Earth as ballast top-off.
Lunar agriculture will first be done in cabinets and then in pressurized rooms with their atmospheres adjusted for optimum plant growth. These areas may get by with less shielding than human residents.
The light for plant growth will be provided by some combination of artificial light and redirected sunlight. The plant light cycles will be worked to fit the light availability for the specific lunar latitude of the settlement. In some location an Alaska summer type of growing season will be possible (long hours of light for a short number of days).
Lunar regolith will be converted into both a base for hydroponics and into soil by adding organic mater. The organic mater will come from multiple stage composting of human waste, food leavings, and agricultural waste such as leaves.
Freeze drying process requires slowing exposing the herbs to a vacuum. As we do not wish to loose the water, the freeze container can be vented into our volatiles recover equipment.
Herbs and spices have historically be a key product of settlements. They have always commanded high prices for given mass even after being shipped a long distance.
Still, even with a novelty premium, the Lunar Herbs effort is only expected to operate as a means of offsetting the cost of agricultural research and development on the Moon.
We cannot provide a detailed financial analysis at this time.
Truth to Investors
Lunar Herbs is presented only as a small income to help off set the cost of stating food production on the Moon.
Our First Cash Crops
We will do what every is necessary to learn to grow food on the Moon. Herbs are the place to start. Then freeze drying the excess and shipping the product back to Earth is a natural money making activity for a lunar settlement.
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