Sunday, July 17, 2011

Growing Your Own Spirulina

The remarkable nutritional content of this ancient food harvested by the Aztecs from alkaline lakes (an alkaline pH is the key to letting ONLY the spirulina grow) has long been known. For the last 1-2 years I've now and then casually, briefly, thought about trying my hand at growing my own, but never followed through. But I was yesterday reminded by Dr. Mercola's health newsletter of the unique nutritional profile it offers...even just a tablespoon a day can be very beneficial as I saw when I looked into it. I of course obsessively Googled to see what options exist for home culture and harvest for the urban farmer, and I especially like this guy's work as seen in the video link below. I will visit a local health store and price capsules and tablets, plus read labels to see if they've been heat dried vs. simple drying as possible sources of starter spirulina cells.

I have a few dumpster dived aquariums to trial the process in, ample dolomite or lime to raise the pH of the water ( ESSENTIAL to raise the pH to prevent undesirable microbes ), and I like the idea of compost tea or fish emulsion (purchased or home made) or urine being the nutrient source.   I can see a role for bio-char in water purification.  I think I have a small aquarium air pump stashed somewhere but if this trial works I'd like to try a bigger one to use in a 55 gallon plastic drum that Tim gave me for a bigger air bubbles column for better agitation. 40 micron fabric sounds expensive....I wonder if the white linen pillowcases I just dumpster dived might work? The Aztecs just harvested dense mats of the spirulina from lake surfaces using ropes.....I can imagine growing it thusly outdoors in kiddy pools filled with nutrient-rich, high PH rain water. The lower tech the better.

If this works I will eat it raw....add it to salad dressings for example. Just can imagine it added to guacamole and many sandwiches in mayonnaise as a spread.  As a science nerd since childhood I am delighted that spirulina has been reclassified from an algae to a cyanobacteria due in part to its cell structure. Since I subscribe to Darwinian Evolution, the Punctuated Equilibrium model in particular, as a likely pattern for life on this planet, I find  discoveries of fossilized cyanobacteria from VERY early in Earth's history as the source of the oxygen that transformed our world intriguing. That modern cyanobacteria could help feed us while absorbing CO2, all in a modest home setting using just a 10 gallon fish tank by a bright window, is a very promising and exciting life style option I am finally looking into.

A well-nourished, well-informed, iodine-sufficient people can much better resist a corporatocracy that tries to ban live whole foods like raw milk, or sneak Monsanto's GMO crops into our food supply with deceptive labelling, that wages a multi-decade war against its own citizens who enjoy and benefit from cannabis, dispose of nuclear wastes like depleted uranium by dropping bombs of it on people in their own conveniently oil-rich countries like Iraq (Google that for a real eye opener) and that with no discernible qualms sends our young, well-meaning, women and men into amoral wars of choice for profit, all the while waving Bibles and spouting the meaningless mantra "Support Our Troops". I will have fun seeing if home culture of spirulina is workable for me as a new layer of liberation and self sustenance....


No comments:

Post a Comment