Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fruit fly culture experiment 

I'm growing flightless fruit flies to feed my pet plants. About a month ago I bought a culture of them from a pet store for $5.99 - I believe today I bought enough ingredients to make dozens of times more flies for about the same price. First, here is the store purchased culture.

purchased fruit fly culture

Because millions of people without in-sink disposals unwittingly make fruit fly cultures every day I figure it's rather difficult to fail in the venture. I've read that using vinegar instead of water inhibits mold growth so I threw into the blender a small apple, half a package of potato buds, half a package of baking yeast and wet it down a bit with apple cider vinegar.

diy fruit fly food

I kept the apple peels for springtail food. Or more accurately, food for springtail food. More on that tomorrow.

apple peels

After blending everything down to a cookie dough consistency, I used a root beer bottle to mash the mush more or less evenly across the bottoms of a mason jar and pickle jar. I put one in the freezer for later.

mash

I learned a new word today, excelsior,

wood shavings (thin curly wood shavings used for packing or stuffing)

In this case, the source of my excelsior - pods of a Northern Catalpa - proved the first positive about having a nearly all year mess of the foot-long woody pods in the yard. Those woody pods are perfect excelsior material for my pet flies to find a purchase.

mash

I shook 30-40 flies from the original culture into their new breeding grounds and locked them in with a paper towel and rubber bands.

put a lid on it

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