I'm new to this wonderful forum. It will probably take me a long time to search it all and read up, but in the mean time I have a pressing question.
I am currently working on making my own black soldier fly composter. I asked on Freecycle for anyone's old rotten garden hose to attach to the sides so that the grubs could crawl up in it to be automatically harvested.
Someone offered me some soaker hoses. I know that the grubs can crawl up on regular plastic tubing, but I don't know if they are capable of crawling on such a "rugged terrrain" as the coarse texture of a soaker hose would provide.
Does anyone know enough about black soldier fly maggots to be able to answer this question?
they should be able to climb up soaker hose no problem given its wide enough. the coarse texture wont bother them at all they are pretty tough creatures. are you following plans from the internet or making your own BSF bin.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
I watched a video on how to make a composter on the internet but I am adapting the ideas to a pre-made large composting bin that I have instead of using pail. That way I don't have to be concerned about drainage issues or even gut any holes or do much of anything actually. The only things missing from my regular big old black plastic composter from Costco that I can figure out are the ramps leading out to collection and putting in some cardboard cut properly for the flies to lay their eggs in (I got something ideal on supersale at Petsmart made for cats to scratch on actually - but if I make more I can easily make that myself). Someone is going to give me a little goop from their bio-pod to act as attractant, but not even sure that is necessary.
If this works I'm going to start probably start recycling cat litter containers and old broken hoses to make lots of little containers as well. That will necessitate dealing with drainage though whereas my big composter won't have that issue. If the containers are to be used outside I don't understand why you can't just cut a hole in the bottom for the extra water to just drain off.
the little old lady wrote: o.k. What is a black soldier fly composter? Do I want one? Does it compost the flies?
It's a farming operation that feeds waste organic matter to a special sort of maggot.
Black soldier fly larvae become exceedingly fat, because the adults don't eat. Their fatness can be useful, and the adults not eating makes them more sanitary. As mentioned above, the larvae are also quite tough, able to take a beating and to handle their liquor. As they get fat enough, they crawl away from the food looking for soil to burrow into, and so they harvest themselves.
You might want one if you have a use for large numbers of highly caloric insects: keeping chickens, raising fish, selling bait, etc.
You would also want one if you have access to sudden surges of greasy or high-protein food waste, and want it turned into something useful quickly, without the need for a huge amount of space, compost browns, or labor.
Similarly, you might want one to deal with food scraps in winter, with the feeding of livestock as a side benefit.
I've heard of schemes to make biodiesel out of the larvae.
The waste excreted by the flies isn't as good to grow in as worm castings, but it's a good first step.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.