I think I have too many hobbies! I just can't keep up with them all. But here are a few of them:
I first started gardening when I was 5. My first crop was peas, and I grew enough for the family to have one meal. Thus started a life-long passion with growing things and self-sufficiency. By the time I was 18 I had developed a garden big enough to provide all the vegetables and potatoes our family of 5 needed (I generally did the groundbreaking and plowing, and my sisters did the nasty stuff like weeding and daily care; planting and harvesting was usually a family affair). During the winter I spent in Minchumina, the majority of the food I ate was 'from the land'; either from the garden or hunted/fished (moose, fish and birds primarily).
Once I permanently moved into Fairbanks my gardens faded, for the place for a garden was small. Over the years, with lots of help from enthusiastic ISECCo volunteers, I expanded the initially tiny area into a 30' by 80' garden. This is big enough to provide most of the vegetables needed during the year if I were to plant it as such, however large portions of it were used for CELSS experiments (see below) and as such weren't necessarily very productive.
I am keen on self-sufficiency. I got an early start (see
above) and have been toying with various kinds of self
sufficiency every since. A major part of my life has
been devoted to the development of a closed ecological
life support system; starting with a simple garden in the
front yard through a couple of greenhouses, the basement
biosphere and culminating in Mars Base Zero (a semi-closed
ecosystem). Through spring 2007 I have been closed
up inside Mars Base Zero twice (7 days and 39 days) and my
wife Frankie once (7 days). The Mars Base Zero
project will be finalized over the next 2-4 years with
some longer closures. Then, time and money
permitting, we will move on to a more ambitious project: a
completely closed underground system something like what
you would need on the moon. This system, Nauvik,
will be specifically designed for completely closed
operation, recycling all the food, air and water.
I enjoy designing houses and modifications to existing structures. Of the 100+ places I've designed I've actually built 9:
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