So I've been doing some research on different ways to compost human waste. I'm homesteading and I've been keeping the waste in buckets till I found a good solution to deal with it.
last night I started to research the black soldier fly. It looks like all I need to do is provide a bin for the waste to go into and they will eat it up in no time! I was thinking of having them self harvest into the chicken coop, then I wouldn't have to touch them at all once the cycle is going. I was thinking of making 2 ramps, one big one going into the chicken coop and another smaller one going into an area where they can become fly's and lay more eggs.
I have a few questions,
1. It looks like they need to be kept at higher temps during winter, does anyone have any ideas on how to do this? I was thinking of moving the colony into a greenhouse over the winter, but I plan on venting my rocket mass heater into the greenhouse and I don't know how the high CO2 levels will effect them, any ideas?
2. I mix in Pete Moss with my human waste, is this okay for the black soldier fly?
3. Can I have a bin that is just human waste or should I mix other materials in with it?
4. Is it safe to allow the chickens to eat the soldier fly larvae that have been eating human waste?
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I played around with BSF and humanure for two seasons when I was homesteading in Georgia. While it probably isn't their favorite food (coffee grounds and general kitchen trash seem to be their favorite), they will go through it, reducing it's volume by about half, and giving you a feed yield in the process. I was giving to them straight each day, without amendments.....I used a geriatric toilet chair and bucket, and dumped the manure into the BSF "pod" daily. I pulled off the grubs from the side bucket every couple of days for my chickens and turkeys, which ate them voraciously. They are particularly valuable for young, growing birds with their high protein needs.
I considered that between 1. the powerful digestive tract of the BSF grubs, 2. their habit of shedding the last larval skin before climbing out, and 3. the hot digestive tract of the poultry, that the danger of humanure pathogens in the poultry maure at the other end was minimal, and besides we usually didn't use this on salad or raw-use root crops like carrots anyway, reserving these for the year after such an application. The humanure residue remaining in the pod, though, I treated as humanure and it went into my long-composting system I had been using for humanure before I got the BSF. From one or two people I would have to clean out this every couple of months.
Interestingly, I also found the BSF to be excellent processors of small dead animals and birds, and slaughter wastes. They would even eat poisonous mushrooms...with no evident harm to the birds consuming them in turn! They really do take recycling to the next level.
But winter is a problem. Even in central Georgia, the one winter the grubs left in the pod all died, even though I had buried the whole thing in a huge pile of mulch. I would not want to have it in any kind of enclosed space....the pod does give off an odor, especially when processing manure!. But since they are native in the Southeast, all I had to do was leave some (preferably kitchen trash) compost in the pod in the spring and I would soon enough find it colonized. They won't really multiply or break down anything when they are too cold anyway, so you'd need to have an alternate humanure system in place for at least half the year.
Alas, where I live now, I don't think they are native, and the winter is longer. I've mailordered some starter grubs two years' running but here I personally don't think they're worth it, unless I could heat them somehow through much of the cold season.....
Alder Burns (adiantum)
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