Notes from Windward: #67


Vermadise Update--April 28


     On the way up to Vermadise this morning, I caught this pic of the lambs sneaking through the fence to do a bit of grazing on the lush grass that's getting knee high. Momma is close by keeping an eye on her lambs, but their main problem is that they can't remember just where it was that they were able to get through the fence. When approached they try to run to momma, and are easily caught and handed over the fence.


     We're still working on getting our colony of black soldier flies settled into Vermadise. Early on, as the vault warmed up, houseflies were able to lay their eggs and go into competition with the BSF larva. That was fine with us since the chicks are happy to gobble down larva without regard to their parentage.

     Once the BSF are established they'll give off a scent that warns off the houseflies, but we're not to that point yet. In order to help the BSF get established, we installed a bug zapper to keep the housefly population in check. Since BSF adults don't feed, they're not attracted to the zapper, but the houseflies have been hitting it steadily. It didn't take long for the chicks to figure out that the sound the zapper makes when it toasts a fly was followed by something tasty falling their way. It's a hoot to watch the chicks come running whenever the zapper takes out another housefly.


     The new sprouting arrangement is working great. As it cranks out a half gallon of wheat sprouts a day, the chicks are getting accustomed to the addition of sprouted wheat to their diet.


     The various salad greens are testing out well in the grow tubes. The next question will be seeing how well they do in the hot weather under shade cloth since we're only a couple of weeks from removing Vermadise's plastic cover for the summer.


     The rabbits are continuing to crank out more bunnies, which is putting pressure on us to get the rabbit tractor finished so that there's more room for our bunny population to expand into. This litter of kits is just to the point where they start hopping out of the nest box to start nibbling on solid food.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67