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 Awesome Grandma Project 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 5
Location: San Jose, California
Post Awesome Grandma Project
Starting with a 6-gallon latch lid Rubbermaid that was lying around, I'm going to play around with a few variables (drain, lid, ramp, unanticipated complications) until I get the feel for how much usable waste comes out of our family's kitchen. My ideal would be a larger BSFL/worm combo. I'm doing most of my research on your site, and I'll post any significant improvements that I might stumble upon.

This is an awesome grandma project. Nowadays, kids learn about things like composting, repurposing, and the life cycle of insects in kindergarten. Also, handling bugs is good for little girls so they learn to be calm and curious when they see a bit of nature flying or crawling around. Too many girls scream like every bug is about to annihilate the human race, so if you don't educate your children in nature, they'll start imitating the screaming girls.


Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:15 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
Sounds good. Do you have a wild population of BSF? If so see the Attracting black soldier flies-the basics (link) topic.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:36 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:40 pm
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Location: San Jose, California
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
I have no idea about the native BSF population here, so I'll start with a handful of larvae from someone else's bin. My thinking is that Grandma projects should have some degree of failure built in, so that the grandchildren see how failure leads to innovation and improvement. However, waiting for a native population that may never show up is a tad bit more failure than I have planned, and it changes the lesson to Decomposition Basics, as we watch our melon rinds mold away.

Right now, my plans for collecting the pre-pupae are up in the air. Will larvae dropping to the ground attract welcome garden birds? Will the kids absolutely love the taste of stir-fried flies?


Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:11 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
Have a look at our Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link) to see in any populations have been reported near you.

Be aware that it takes tens of thousands of larvae (BSFL) to process any meaningful amount of food scraps. My indoor system is in a margarine tub, has a population of about 4500 larvae and is only feed an average of 6 grams daily.

You mentioned considering a BSFL/worm combo bin which I think would be a good idea. Worm bins are a 'magnet' for BSF so you might attract them by starting with a worm bin. See the Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Worm Bins (link) topic for previous discussions.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:40 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:40 pm
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Location: San Jose, California
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
We're at the "build it and they will come" stage. Here's the farm, made of plastic bins and stuff that I found lying around, plus about $11 for 1" pipe and fittings for the ramp.

After about a week, I'm seeing larvae from bsf* and houseflies, which makes a good lesson (for grandchildren) about using characteristics that can help us identify different species. Since bsfl have ridges and housefly larvae are smooth, this is something that young children can observe.

When I was growing up, I did stuff all the time. I never sat down. There were so few televisions in the country that people used to go to the house of a lucky t.v.owning friend or relative to watch t.v. Children don't live much of a hands-on life nowadays. When I go to my granddaughters' house, they are usually plopped in front of the t.v. When I say, "Let's play outside," the older one balks and says she'd prefer to stay inside, but as soon as we get outside, the trance of the t.v. ends and we start interacting with the world and learning. I say learning because childhood hands-on experiences are the firmest foundation for making a child an effective book-learner in school. Watching a show about insects on t.v. can teach the facts, but hands-on experience teaches creative intelligence.

*Note: I put a handful of bsfl in the bin last week.


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File comment: The drain is small holes and an inverted saucer with some expanded clay pellets on top. I went for cheap materials that were lying around.
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:15 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
Keep an eye out for adult flies and egg clusters now :D

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:17 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:16 am
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Location: Sisaket, Thailand
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
This is a great design, especially for kitchen scraps, and one that I think I can even get my mother-in-law to warm up to :) Will be making something similar in the next few days when I have some time!


Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:39 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:48 am
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Location: Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
Will there be any issues if there are two difference species using the container? Is there any way to control this? I plan to start my own colony completely isolated indoors as there are none native to where I am however when I move down to Seattle area I want to be able to utilize the native BSF population.

Thanks in advance!

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A newbie to the world of BSF. Wanting to take it all in. Please share your thoughts and experiences with me


Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:42 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Awesome Grandma Project
I don't believe so. In addition, any BSFL you purchase now are likely to be sourced from the USA anyway.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:32 am
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