Soil and water are ready at the People's Garden is set up and ready for lettuce planting into raised garden beds and individual biodegradable pots, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Whitten Building, in Washington, DC., on Monday, October 5, 2015. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Deputy Administrator Dava Newman will join area FFA, 4-H members and Jefferson Middle School students to plant sister seeds to lettuce grown on the International Space Station. During the event, Harden and Newman will sign a new interagency agreement expanding USDA and NASA's commitment to promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math to young people. Before the signing, an Educational Session: How USDA and NASA Work Together began with talks from USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young. NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman, and NASA Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division Director Dr. Marshall Porterfield.
The People's Garden Executive Master Gardener volunteers have grown some of the plants to seedlings for planting in the garden and to be given to the gardening participants
The Lactuca sativa “Outredgeous Red Romaine Lettuce” seeds are from the same lot and bag as those flown to the International Space Station on the CRS-3 mission inside SpaceX’s dragon capsule launched April 18, 2014. The first crop was grown and harvested in 33 days, then sent to NASA Scientists at Kennedy Space Center for analysis. The second crop of lettuce was initiated in Veggie on July 8, 2015 by NASA’s one-year astronaut, Scott Kelly. After 33 days of care by Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly, the space plants were harvested and eaten. The seeds that produced the plants, which the astronauts ate, came from the same bag. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.