From the time she was a toddler following her grandmother down the rows of raised beds of strawberries she knew she wanted to grow things like her. Her chubby hands reached for the bright red berries, and she giggled as the red juice ran down her face and sundress. She looked up and saw grandmother’s beneficent smile that was as bright as the sun. She didn’t realize it at the time but it was the happiest time in Belinda’s life — and a pivotal moment in history.
Humans had been tampering with nature with their genetic engineering. Monocultures wiped out crop diversity, pesticides’ backlash were immune superbugs that ravaged thousands of acres. Alternating drought and flooding across Earth had left millions homeless and hungry.
Belinda had followed her passion and was now the Chief Agricultural Alternatives Director at the University of MI’s Biolab. Belinda and her teams, made up of the best of the best from across the world, were in a race against time. Their mission: to find heirloom varieties of plants that would thrive in a biosphere environment, release maximum levels of oxygen, consume maximum levels of carbon dioxide, and provide adequate protein for human bodies in a closed environment.
The “plant people” were in close collaboration with the insect people and the biospherians who were the test subjects.
Three years after the Ark 2 International Collaborative began, a press conference was held. Belinda, standing the middle of University of MI’s football stadium, held up a clump of dirt and a strawberry plant – one that could save us from extinction. She smiled, looked up at the sun, and thought of her grandmother’s gift.
This story is inspired by a youtube I saw the other day about a biosphere experiment back in the 60s. It has been turned into a documentary. Here’s a clip from it:
Paula Light is the host of Thursday Inspiration. Paula says:
This week’s theme is earth and the picture is [above.] Here is the song snippet from “Heaven Is A Place on Earth,” a 1987 song from Belinda Carlisle.
Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth
They say in heaven, love comes first
We’ll make heaven a place on earth