Posts Tagged ‘maggots’

Turns out that the grubs we found in the worm bin are black soldier fly larvae; I identified them with this blog, which is entirely about the wonders of the black soldier fly and it’s larvae.  Apparently these little grubs (actually, they’re not very little…) can process food waste faster than red worms and like things a little slimy and wet.  This is what our worm bins usually turn into, because i can never add enough bedding to keep up with Kate and John’s wet coffee grounds and my tea bags (which increase in number exponentially when i’m home studying all day).  I’m hoping the two can co-inhabit the worm bin; worms will supposedly “finish” what the grubs have already processed, making it into even better compost material.

The adults are harmless- don’t swarm or carry disease or sting or bite- and only live for 5-8 days, so they apparently aren’t much of a nuisance.  They may also repel other types of flies, which would be faaabulous, given the fly explosion we had during the warm months of the summer. Ugh.  Also, you can harvest as many of the larvae as you want to feed your chickens, use as fish bait, or supplement your dog’s protein intake (ummm…), and more will grow.  I wouldn’t have thought of that last one, save for one comment on the blog, “can u feed grubs to ur dog?”

COOL!  Still gross, but COOL!

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Today for a study break, i finished pulling out the tomato plants (with David’s help) and hung them up with the rest in the garage.  Dave and KK say that this is the way to get your green tomatoes to ripen- hang the whole plant upside down and wait.  I picked a couple ripe sungold cherry tomatoes today from the plants i hung up last weekend, so i think it’s working…??

Then, i added worms to the new worm bin that has just been collecting food outside the back door with no worms to eat it.  I pulled back the top layer of bedding in the old bin and picked out a good handful of worms, then noticed some grub-looking things in the next layer down and picked a few of them out to show David.  We decided we didn’t want whatever they were going to grow into to take over our worm bin, so we went back out to dig them out and give them to the chickens.  We discovered there were way more of these grublets than we were expecting- a gross amount- there were just grubs on grubs on grubs.  We had been picking them out by hand and putting them in a bowl, but when we came across the mother load, David just dug in and scooped out big handfuls.  It was fairly disgusting… and stinky, since our worm bin is too wet!  In any case, we determined there were too many to dig up, so we piled what we had in the chicken run.

Chickens seem to have some sort of reptilian shape-recognition with food items.  If you put a square of cornbread or half a loaf or bread or a baked half squash in the run for them, they’re like, WTF is that?!   They’ll eventually eat it after minutes (sometimes hours) of sideways investigative glances, pecking, flicking whatever it is off their beaks all over the place.  There are other things that they just immediately know are food, even though they haven’t seen it up close yet.  If you shake anything grain-like out of a jar, they immediately come running to gobble it up.  So, small, dry, and tumbly = food.  Apparently the form of a grub- plump, oblong, sluggishly squirmy- also triggers immediate recognition and spurs them to start gobbling with out too much investigation as to what these yucky larval stage things that were just dug up out of a box of rotting food actually are.

We also picked some fall broccoli and some tomato stragglers, and collected the dry runner bean pods to save the seeds for next year.  Aren’t they beautious?

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