Meal worms? Check. It looked good on paper!!

I love to check off items from a to do list. It gives me such a great feeling, I just love it! I’ve even been known to write a list once I completed something just so I could check it off which probably is a little… oh well it’s who I am! 🙂

In true New Year’s Spirit I wrote down a long list of “To be Accomplished for the Farm in 2020”. Less involved than picking out the qualities in my self that needs improving, but after finishing writing it the farm list seemed endless… so what did I do? I picked the very easiest thing on my list just so I could get that sense of accomplishment and the instant gratification of being able to check it off! Want to guess what it was? It was broken down into several steps (more checks for me!!) 1) Finish finding out how to start a meal worm farm 2) Buy plastic drawers for meal worms. 3) Get organic oat bran (turned out I could get cheap organic Oatmeal at Walmart, so I just ran it through the food processor to make it into a soft flour) 4) Order meal worms.

Four items checked off, I’m off to a good start for the New Year! LOL

And guess what? They just arrived!

I was prepared in the sense that I knew how to take care of them and what the growing process was. I was excited to open the box. I was excited to pull out the brown paper bag and eagerly open it up. A cloth bag. I pulled the cloth bag out and THEN it hits me.. the SOUND. It truly was the sound belonging in an Indiana Jones movie- where you first here the SOUND, and then come the critters. I was NOT prepared for the sound… Why did NO ONE of the YouTube video makers mention the sound they make when you get them? Inside the cloth bag they were packed in brown paper, and they were making a rustling sound, like thousands, no millions of mini snakes with dry rustling scales sliding and crawling (OK; so they don’t actually crawl) over each other….. eeew… my toes curled…. and I could see some of them moving through the fabric of the cloth bag. But they needed food and a home so I slowly opened the bag while telling myself to stop being a wuss, they were slow harmless meal worms, how bad could it be? It took me a while to get all the 1500 worms that I had ordered out of the bag and separated from the paper. During the process of separating them from bag and paper (taking very good care to not accidentally touching any) I couldn’t help to wonder exactly how the providers of my worms knew they were sending me 1500. Is there a person whose job it is to sit and count meal worms? Do they go by weight? Guesstimate? As far as I know I could have gotten 1000 or 2000. I myself was certainly not going to count them, no matter what live guarantee I had on them! Because I could see that some were dead (they will be cleaned up by the living ones), but the greater number by far were alive, wriggling all over burying themselves into the prepared oatmeal. And the best thing… SILENCE. No raspy sound of scaly worms slithering audibly over the dry surface of crinkled up paper. They were quietly enveloped by a blanket of prepared oat meal “flour”. Big sigh of relief on my end. A piece of a carrot and an apple slice were added on top- this is their water source- and I was done- that was it. I studied them a while just for good measure- at this point in a kind of delighted disgust and also to make certain that the information I had was correct- that they can’t crawl up the side of their plastic drawer. Which they can’t. Not even a little bit. Phew.

My daughter just stuck her head in- naturally while Face Timing with her friend Madie and looked at my screen. “They are here?” she says. Madie’s voice comes through her speaker “Your mom has BUGS? IN the house?” ” Hi Madie!!” Annika runs down to look for herself. Her voice is clearly heard to the second floor. “Oh my GOSH!! They are moving and crawling all over, I am OUT of here“. I’m calling behind her- “I figured I put them in your room” “Ha-Ha, very funny” comes the distant answer- followed by the slam of the door as she takes off for work. Now that I’m thinking of it, maybe I should put them in her room… and see how long it takes before she notices. Could be a good incentive for her to clean more often!!

The next phase will be for the worms to become pupae, at which point I will have to separate them from the worms (New item created on my farm list about how to do this without actually touching them). And from there they will turn into the Darkling beetle- who also do not get out of the box (can only hope that is correct as well!) -who then will go on to lay eggs which then completes the circle when they become worms. I better get mentally prepared for the beetles. I’m not much for bugs- thus my rule of “only animals in the house that do not require live food” for the whole time the kids grew up. I knew what I was thinking “better food for my chickens- but what was I THINKING??

Here are some pics from the past weekend of some of the ladies… the inspiration to this craziness. They are all grown up and looking fabulous!

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