Using Food Computers, I have learned to grow different types of food and create climates. A couple of months ago, I started working on a project to test the Food Computer’s capabilities of growing some new and exotic types of plants that we hadn’t experimented with yet. I had grown a lot of basil, leafy greens, and even beets, but I was interested in seeing how the Food Computer would handle more exotic plants. Specifically, I wanted to focus on crops that are significant to the large immigrant populations in and around the city of Boston. I decided on six:
Galangal: a root spice similar to ginger from East and Southeast Asia
Cassava: a staple crop from Africa and the Caribbean
Lotus: a flower holy to Buddhism and Hinduism
Hibiscus: a Caribbean flowering plant
Vanilla: a popular flavoring from South America and Africa
Cardamom: a popular tropical spice.
Through a variety of unforeseen events, I also acquired safflower, yucca, and mahogany seeds, which I have also planted.
At the onset, I was most excited about the lotus, cassava, and vanilla. Lotus is an aquatic plant, so I figured that it would work great in a hydroponic system, and I was excited to see how it would turn out. Cassava, like beets, has edible roots, but it is typically much larger. As for vanilla, I just like the smell and thought it would be cool.
All of the seeds have been planted, and so far, the results have been pretty good. Most of the cardamom, yucca, safflower, and lotus seeds have sprouted in the incubator and will soon be ready to move to a Food Computer to mature. The only failures have been the galangal, which succumbed to mold, and the vanilla, which was frail from the start and after a couple short weeks decided that it simply could not put up with life any longer. The hibiscus is doing alright, and the cassava continues to be an enigma that appears to be doing absolutely nothing. The mahogany has also done nothing, but I planted it more recently, so I am not as surprised. Hopefully, the next few weeks will bring rapid growth that will herald the coming availability of any plant anywhere in the world, regardless of the season.