Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tales from the bucket: RIP (?) Repulsive

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The bucket is empty. Of grubs, I mean; there is a fair quantity of halfway-to-humus matter left in there, but no designer-maggots remain. Not ONE so far as I could see.

This emptiness is not a permanent condition--I do have a couple of overwintering dormant grubs left in another mini-bucket, and BSF are common in the area; I could always set out bait to attract them once laying season returns. For that matter, there may still be some grubs in one test-container not yet checked. But Repulsive’s primary colony is no more. After I went to the effort of protecting it against the occasional winter freeze, and fed (and fed, and fed!) the thing, sadly or not, Repulsive is dead.

Of undeniably natural causes: My grandmother always told me “raccoons wear bandits’ masks for a reason.”

It’s my own fault, really; I glanced out at the bucket collection after the windstorm, but didn’t actually check to see that all the lids were secure. Apparently they weren’t. Teethmarks and clawed furrows tell the tale...

So the next colony home should have some sort of latch or lock for the lid. And I’m going to have to revisit my self-harvester design, I think, to see what I can do about coon-proofing it.

Granted, this isn’t exactly the typical urbanite problem, or at least not one the folks on televised dramas ever face -G-, but raccoons are among my pushier environmental conditions, and must be considered in any composting/waste disposal scenario. As must possums and squirrels and the neighborhood dogs.

And the human neighbors, who aren’t any more tolerant than I of the infamous “off odors.” Repulsive’s bucket never produced any cause for complaint (though I imagine that would not have been the case had anyone actually seen the BSLF). So I think I’m calling that particular experiment-set an only slightly qualified success--

BSFL for waste disposal: recommended, though unaesthetic
BSFL as leaf-degraders: recommended for some situations, though removal of matter can be messy
BSFL as true composters: not feasible
BSFL as chicken feed: recommended up to 25% of total
BSFL as fish food: recommended by literature, not personally tested
BSFL waste as worm food: not yet tested
BSFL as coon treats: recommended--by the raccoons

RIP (for now) Repulsive, 2008-2009.


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