In early August we visited a farm in Chico (California). Here we found an enthusiastic 7 year old boy (Andrei) looking forward to recycling food waste into feed for his father's chickens. The pictures Andrei took were taken with a Cannon camera borrowed from a friend. His BSF nursery and incubators are now up and running processing about 10 lb of food waste each day and he is producing up to 1-2 lb BSF larvae per day. Andrei now keeps 20 chicken very, very happy.
Fetheya (age 10) combined composting with BSF larvae to process food waste in her backyard. Fetheya lives with her family in Tigard, Oregon, in a nice house in a temperate climate with yard where kids play on a grass lawn, in a tree-house and in a garden around the edge of the yard. Fetheya set out to test as a school project the practicality of using different types of backyard composting. One of these processes was based on BSF larvae using a composting bin purchased from Home Depot.
Here are some pictures from her project. Larvae munched away at the food waste and turned kitchen scraps into a thick black mush within a day or two. Her Dad had however some issues with the larvae escaping the bin and going out into the yard and under the garbage can. To stop the larvae from crawling around in plain sight, she and her Dad cleared the area around the bin and dug a small trench 2-3 inches deep by 6 inches wide and installed a wooden edge about 1 inch thick sticking up out above the ground 2-3 inches. She filled the trench with bark chips. She observed that most of the larvae burrowed down into the wood chips and remained there quite content as they turned into pupae. Very few larvae escaped into the yard, and those that did were fast preyed upon by birds, spiders, wasps, frogs and possibly toads. Fetheya noticed wasps feeding on dead flies near the bin and in the yard. Clearly Nature recycles many times over given the chance!
Adult BSF hid in the trees and bushes and were calm and docile, apparently knowing full well not to make themselves present for other predators to snack on. Fetheya won second place in her category (Plant Sciences) on submitting her science project to the Intel NW Science Exp (nwse.org)!