Suffolk starts to Plant the Moon

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Folks who have an interest in gardening and outer space have a unique opportunity to apply their love for both.

Amy Ford earned a grant to take part in the Plant the Moon Challenge. Not having extensive knowledge of horticulture, she hopes to get folks in Suffolk involved to make this challenge a success.

The Plant the Moon Challenge stems from the Artemis Program, the United States’ mission to get back to the moon. One of the challenges of a long-term mission of exploring the moon is having enough food resources for the journey; Plant the Moon is a way to discover how best to grow food on the unique soil of the moon.

“It’s sort of exciting that this will lead to doing this on Mars,” said Ford. “The moon is just a test mission. All of this is such a crazy thing to say.”

Having a son that loves outer space, Ford took her son to the “Museum of the Moon” in October at the Barry Art Museum in Norfolk. Here, she applied for the grant and was later chosen to receive three kits of simulated moon dust.

She is currently working with others in Suffolk to help her best go about this exciting project on the Plant the Moon Suffolk Facebook group. The Suffolk Public Library and some Master Gardeners are already on board to help.

Folks who want to participate are encouraged to join the Facebook group and research additives that may help the plants grow in the moon soil. The group hopes to finalize plans and group members at the beginning of December, so anyone who wants to be a part of the challenge needs to act fast.

“I hope we can get some high school students or some biology teachers involved to help us out,” said Ford. “The more, the merrier.”

To learn more about the project, visit plantthemoon.com or Plant the Moon Suffolk on Facebook.