A surprise find could mean a good supply of free chook food.
We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with bugger all effort. I’ll collate them on this page. Here’s this week’s… Vegetable plants can be very useful even after we’ve eaten the good bits. Letting them go to flower and seed is an excellent way to lure pest insects and concentrate them in one place for easy elimination. The beautiful Pak Choy flowers in the pic above are a deadly lure for for the little pests in the pic below… All I need to do is pinch off the flowering stem with the bugs on and feed them to the chooks. That said… my preferred option would have been to take it a step further and use the aphids to attract lacewings and ladybugs but there’s not a lot around at this very moment. Some weeds such as Sow Thistle, which is around
My newest endeavour… Isopod breeding. You probably can’t see them in the pic but these containers have 2 different types of Isopod in them. I’m trying to breed them for 2 reasons. First, because the chooks love them. Second, because they are crustaceans, not insects and are related to and taste like shrimp. Yes, they’re quite edible! And yes, I’ve eaten a few! Isopods include Slaters (aka Woodlice or Roly Polys) and their prolific kin. Being detritivors, they should be easy to feed with partially broken down mulch from the garden, after all, that’s where you see them living in the wilds of your veggie patch. Their wastes can then go back there, making it a nice cycle. If you look on Youtube, there are a few videos that show folks who breed Isopods for their other pets like lizards and Tarantulas and even some who breed different Isopods for their own sake. These folks seem to use expensive (i.e.
ligayagarden homesteading gardening insects via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BpNyN1gAOyI/
There’s a whole drama playing out on and in this Shungiku flower… via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo-nCjZAvFC/
I haven’t posted anything about the mealworms of late, they’ve been pretty slow with the cold weather. Today’s cleanup showed lots of pupae. The larvae have decided to grow up and have entered into the intermediate stage between childhood and adulthood. Along the same lines, lots of beetles have completed their life cycles and have moved on to wherever all good beetles go when they die. They had a good life – living in their food and participating in prodigious amounts of reproduction. Their exoskeletons will be crushed and mixed with the frass collected in the bottom of their towers. They’ll make their way back into the garden to stimulate plants to protect their selves. Another cycle completed. Check out the history and progress of our mealworms
I found a few of these critters when I was cleaning out the chook run today. I reckon its always good to find new species here and there. Diversity is resilience and I hope these are adding an extra bit to the decomposition process. I tried feeding the beetles to the girls, but they ran whenever one landed near them!
Mealworms Mealworms (Mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, Darkling beetle.) are an easy to raise source of protein and nutrients to feed to people, chickens or lizards. They are easy to breed and raise and this breeder design helps make it even easier and tidier. This is a design that was shared with me by a friend a while back. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing similar designs with the only differences being the number of drawers which are either 3 or 4. We’ll even be making one ourselves soon. There’s little waste and hardly anything that can go off in this breeder. Everything besides the plastic can be either composted or put straight onto the garden or, even better, fed to chickens. Making it A semi-automatic Mealworm breeding and harvesting thingy can be easily made from a set of plastic drawers from a ‘cheap’ shop and following these instructions. Drill some ventilation holes on every side, near to the top