I’m particularly fond of this one:
Funny that in many places local governments now forbid keeping backyard poultry!
Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae, common in compost piles, are a free protein source for chickens and fish. It’s possible to create a composter to deliberately propagate BSF. Jerry (sorry I don’t know your last name) of the Black Soldier Fly Blog, has put together excellent and very detailed instructions on how to construct the BSF composter above. It’s a kind of Logan’s Run for larvae. Soldier fly females enter through the pipe on the top of the bucket and lay their eggs in food scraps you place in the bottom of the device. Larvae hatch and climb up a spiral tube and fall into a holding box.
You can buy a commercial BSF propogator, the Biopod, but it’s a bit over my price range. I’ll be putting together this BSF composter soon and will report back on my results.
Thanks to Federico of the Los Angeles Eco-village for the tip on this. See Federico’s blog http://eeio.blogspot.com/ for some other amazing DIY projects.
Also, see our previous post on the BSF.
We wanted a solar powered light over our new entrance arbor. The problem is that most of the lights available are just plain ugly. And the solar panels on the cheaper models are usually mounted on the light itself making it impossible to place them in a shady spot.
I came up with a simple solution. First, I bought an inexpensive solar light intended to be mounted on a fence. I took it apart and desoldered the LEDs off the circuit board. Next, I soldered four wires to the former connections to the two LEDs. Basically, I created a extension cord to the LEDs. I mounted the LEDs on a small scrap circuit board and soldered the ends of the wires to them.
What I ended up with is a battery and solar power unit connected by wire to two LEDs that I could place in a more attractive enclosure. We had a candle lamp that Mrs. Homegrown found on the street that worked perfectly, but we could have used just about any fixture. We could now place the solar panel in a sunny location on top of the entrance arbor and then hang the light underneath.
Next on my agenda is to create lights from scratch that flicker like candles.
Here’s a primer on working with LEDs. Note that LEDs have positive and negative legs, so if you hack a solar light, remember to connect up the LEDs respecting the polarity.
Thanks to the hard work of local food activists, including my neighbor Jennie Cook, the Los Angeles Board of Education voted this past week to withdraw its five year contract with Tyson Foods Inc. It’s a multi-million dollar loss for Tyson which provides chicken, or.what they refer to on their own website as “protein products” to the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Tyson was to have been a part of a contract divided between three other providers. All together Tyson and the other companies, who provide beef, potatoes and turkey, were to split a potential $284,450,000 over five years.
Rumor has it that Tyson representatives will attempt to win back the contract over the next month, with the activists promising to return to the next LAUSD board meeting on August 31st.
Looks like Jamie Oliver’s “food revolution” has come to LAUSD.
Clarification 7/20/2010: According to an email from Jennie Cook, LAUSD cancelled the Tyson contract because of labor practices not food quality. I’ll post more on this story later.