For Science!: Lt.JG Fiona DeCuir's Logs

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Summoner Castaignede
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210130.0702

Well, I’m still very much settling in right now, but it seems some lab space has been put aside for me, which will be helpful once I’m ready to set up my various projects.

I might need to requisition some special lights for the work ahead – as the lab is aboard a space station, it’s not as if we get much in the way of natural sunlight, and this year’s flowers are going to need plenty of it if they’re to grow here.

I’ve set aside another project – a sourdough starter – in the lab fridge to study how it performs here on the station. I may well make an extra jar from scratch to see if the yeasts in the flour will flourish here. I wonder if it might be worth seeing if the station has much in the way of natural yeasts already in the air?

For now, though, I suppose I should return to unpacking my things and readying myself for duty.

Computer, end log.
“You do not lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Fiona DeCuir
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Fiona Conn
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210423.1730

STARDATE: 210424
FAO: LTJG JP Brice, CSO SS Nimbus
SUBJECT MATTER: BOTANY EXPERIMENT 001

As part of my continuing study of the sciences behind gardening, I have acquired tree seeds and sown them in the hope that they will grow.

The tree seeds selected were Betula Pendula (Silver Birch), Alnus Glutinosa (Alder), and Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple). Silver Birch and Alder are known as 'pioneer species'; that is, species of plant that are likely to start growing in previously barren or environmentally disturbed areas (e.g., because of fire). This speaks to their hardiness.

Silver Birch is noted for its tolerance to pollution, meaning it can be planted on former industrial sites. It also does well on rocky and exposed areas. Additionally, Alder may also improve soil by absorbing atmospheric nitrogen, and through symbiosis wih a nitrogen fixing bacterium, Frankia alni, improves the fertility of the soil, which in turn may also improve the chances of other plants being able to grow.

Acer Palmatum produces beautiful deep red foliage, and can be grown in containers. They also prefer partial to full shade. Japanese Maple may also pruned and grown as a miniature 'bonsai' tree, making them suitable for small spaces.

As per the instructions on the seed packets, I have soaked the seeds overnight to improve the chances of germination. They have been sown in peat-free compost plugs in small pots. These have been set in a plastic container. This container has been placed in the laboratory fridge, as the seeds also require a period of cold known as 'stratification' in order to germinate. The Betula Pendula and Alnus Glutinosa each require 4 weeks at 5-10C. Acer Palmatum may require 2-4 months; I may try the 2 month limit first, in order to ascertain if such a short period will lead to germination. It also comes with the caveat that germination is erratic, and may take up to 2 years.

After this period of stratification, the sown seeds can be moved to a warmer location, where it is hoped they will germinate and start growing.

Further updates will be forthcoming as the experiment progresses and new information becomes available.

- LTJG Fiona DeCuir
Fiona Conn / Fiona DeCuir
Sent from my Linux Mint desktop :)
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