It’s the circle of life. At Mezzacello we keep animals. Inevitably these animals produce waste. That waste attracts flies. The flies MUST be managed as they are annoying, unsanitary, and necessary. So I trap them with a bit of rotting food in a special container with a one way in no way out lid. The bait is just a bit of decaying food or animal (not human) waste with a bit of apple cider vinegar in water. When the trap fills, and signs begin to appear that a second generation of life is occurring (Politely, maggots) I open the jar, put the jar in a sealed tank and fill the the tank with CO for 10 minutes. After all life stops, I add the flies to the compost and turn it in.

[/media-credit] Hundreds of flies emptied from fly traps and recycled into compost.

This is not the optimal source of Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Phosphorus, and Sulphur, but it is consistent. I used to put them in a 350 F degree oven for 15 minutes to kill all parasites and pathogens, but then Rick found out and banned me from the kitchen. Then I switched to using an easy bake oven to bake them in batches (like I do the crickets) but I have since found that the heat from the green and brown compost is sufficient to manage most microbial pathogens.

The goal of Mezzacello is #ZeroWaste. #ProjectMartian is going to require a more holistic approach to life, growth, waste, decay, and renewal. Use what you can when you have it. Even fly eyes have value. Thanks, Alyssa Reder for reminding me to talk about this resource!

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