Food,  Green Living

I saved my banana peel for our maggots!

We have thousands of maggots.

Our family frequently talks about sustainability, especially during Covid. My husband, David, and I joke about how we will survive the pending apocalypse with our 4 kids. This revolves around how we will eat.

Even before Covid, we had started building our garden to supplement the vegetables we already buy. We wanted access to fresh produce with no added chemicals. This meant no chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Our soil needed nutrients, so I started to research composting.

Compost is referred to as liquid gold, but to create it requires a tolerance to what many view as “gross.” The process smells like s*it. It needs food scraps. It attracts all kinds of animals at night. The solution I found is called the SubPod. It’s rectangular box with a lid that you bury in the ground. Food scraps go in, then becomes compost, and seeps out of the holes in the box straight into the soil where the vegetables are planted. Simple!

After a long wait for the SubPod, I hastily built the box, dug the hole, placed the box, threw in the my food scraps. I, then, read the instructions, and it reads, “recommended to purchase worms to accelerate the composting process.” Worms. I can handle worms. I go to Amazon and voila worms will arrive in 2 days.

2 days later, I am about to place my worms into their new home, but what do I see! Maggots, hundreds of maggots. I shriek! I drop my Prime package, and I run for dear life.

I google, “how to get rid of maggots when composting.” To my amazement I discover maggots, specifically the black soldier fly larvae are better at composting than worms. And those were exactly what I had. They, also, prevent other types of flies from laying eggs in the same location like those pesky house flies. In Singapore, black soldier fly larvae are used to deal with human organic and food waste in landfills. The speed at which these flies work is beyond imagination. The sole purpose of black soldier fly larvae is to create maggots that help with the cycle of life. The adult black soldier flies have no mouth. They do not eat. They do not bite. They do not transfer diseases. Their sole purpose is to breed more maggots. How wonderful is that! Black soldier fly larvae are considered “squeaky clean protein,” and they make a great feed for animals like chickens, lizards, and fish. They literally turn waste into nutrient packed energy source. I’ve become a huge fan. I get so much joy from dumping my food scraps to feed them.

We are a family of 6. Sometimes more. My mother lives with us for half the year. My best friend comes over each week. My younger brother comes over once a month. We produce a lot of food scraps. A constant buffet for our larvae, leading to a continuous supply of the best fertilizer, which has resulted in some of the healthiest, best tasting vegetables for our family. My kids have learned to appreciate them. They often come back from school with their lunchbox with nothing but a banana peel. “mama, I saved my banana peel for our maggots!”

My BSF Larvae colony can gorge through a bucket full of food scraps in about 3 hours.

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