The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


first image of ou silk worm turning into a moth!

Our first silk worm moth showed up this week!

There will be no flight for these wings due to generations of domestic breeding.

No food or drink either. The only job this moth has to do is hope one of the other cocoons changes into a moth and ask her out on a date.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Have you guys ever considered breeding roaches? Im not talking about roaches that are pest.

I breed Surinam roaches for my birds and fish. I think they would be much easier than the silk worms. You can raise them on scraps, and they multiply very fast, like roaches.

Comment by T Sat Jul 13 20:26:59 2013
T --- That's not one of the insects that came on my radar when I was researching insect farming, so I'd be curious to hear more about Surinam roaches. Any chance you'd be willing to write a guest post on the subject, or just to give us more information here in the comments? (If the former, my email address is
Comment by anna Sun Jul 14 13:12:14 2013

I thought that roaches require food that could also be eaten by chickens, so probably more efficient to give straight to the birds. For instance they say you can feed roaches cat food or whole grain cereal or baby cereal. Though maybe roaches could eat some things chickens cannot - I am not sure. I was thinking of bugs that eat food that chickens cannot such as termites or detrivores such as earthworms, or that collect food outside your property, like bees. It would be nice to devise traps that catch wild bugs from the garden simply and conveniently.

Comment by Jeff Mon Jul 15 05:46:50 2013
I find the moth much more attractive than the worms - it's beautiful!
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Mon Jul 15 12:37:21 2013
Will you be planting any insects this year?
Comment by Maggie Wed Jun 18 18:59:40 2014
Maggie --- Not insects, but we were considering farming snails and/or crawdads this year. But things got too busy, so we had to stick to basics!
Comment by anna Thu Jun 19 13:52:34 2014
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