Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato harvesting

An evening pause: Another video suggested by Phill Oltmann illustrating how engineering has revolutionized the agricultural field. In this case its tomatoes, which I think illustrates quite well why mass produced tomatoes are simply not as good as vine grown tomatoes from your garden. Assuming the tomatoes in this video are not intended for canning, they have to be tough to withstand the harvesting process so that they remain whole for the fruit stand.

Russian greenhouse on ISS ungoes upgrade

The Russian greenhouse on ISS underwent an upgrade today.

The onboard greenhouse was dismantled in April last year, as a need arose to replace the outdated control unit, recalled head of the Rasteniya-2 (Plants-2) experiment, chief of the laboratory of the Institute of Medico-Biological Problems (IMBP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Vladimir Sychev. In early 2010, the crop area of the orbital garden was extended twice – the second leaf chamber was delivered to the ISS in which the crew managed to harvest the Mizuna lettuce, before the greenhouse was dismantled. Now, the cosmonauts will plant in these two chambers different cultures – super-dwarf wheat and dwarf tomatoes.

As I described in detail in Leaving Earth, the Russians have decades of experience in growing plants in space, with the goal of not only providing a natural system to recycle the station’s atmosphere, but also giving the astronauts a morale-boosting activity (gardening) that also gives them something tasty to eat. Though the engineering has still not made it possible to germinate seeds in weightlessness and then have grow there, this will be an absolute requirement if humans are ever to travel to the planets and beyond to the stars.