Garden to Mars

Micah Russell
August 2017

Do you want to go to Mars? Start by planting and maintaining a garden IN your home. The drive to create sustainable living spaces on Earth is the same drive to colonize other planets in space. What are some issues to life on Mars, for instance? Breathable air, clean source of water, steady food source. Why are those not issues on Earth? Because we have extensive grounds outside our homes for cultivating those very things. For every human being on the Earth there are hundreds of plants generating clean air, water, and food for that person. The issue then is not finding ways of gen-erating those things on Mars, but recreating them in the living space of the person who needs those resources.

If we were to find a way to have everything a person needs to live contained in their living space, getting to Mars is simply a matter of transportation, not life and death. Transport the person and their living space and they can live in nearly any atmosphere, condi-tions, etc.

To accomplish this we need to understand nature. Not Nature with a capital 'N', or the belief in the creating power of say, Mother Nature, but nature with a lowercase 'n'. Nature with a lowercase 'n' is the effective relationship of living things. In this case understand-ing nature means man's relationship with plants, as well as under-standing plant's relationships with other resources. Plants purify water, air, and provide food when they are given essential nutrien-ts, soak up light, and are watered carefully. Some plants are better at some things than others. English Ivy, or hedera helix, is the best at producing and removing toxins from breathable air, but is pois-onous to eat for most animals. Squash, or cucurbita, on the other hand is great to eat for most animals, but is par for generating breathable air.

We may believe we have progressed as a society and yet never has man been so estranged from plants, from what they need and how they can help us. Gaining a better understanding of our exist-ence on Earth will prepare us for our existence on other planets.