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‘Humane’ Fruit Fly Trap, Lemon Verbena Cutting, Peanut & Jackfruit Seedlings

Posting recently about compost made me consider how much of a battle we have had with fruit flies. You have to be very diligent to keep their populations down and away from your food. Over the last few months we have experimented with different fly catching methods and so far the funnel into a water jug seems to work the best. However, once you collect a lot of flies and take it outside… they stay. In fact, we have a water jug outside from over a month ago that just sits and is perpetually filled with hundreds of flies now, just from a few tiny bits of rotted banana. This makes re-using the same ‘trap’ impossible, unless you were to rinse out the jug.

We try to take an approach to the life around us that is sensitive to the micro and macro and we don’t feel it is right to build an anthropocentric model. We feel all creatures, even as small as a fruit fly deserve a spot in reality and shouldn’t be intentionally harmed just because we perceive them as an inconvenience. We believe a lot of these mixed principles confuse the human mind. Subconsciously we believe people may never form a coherent concept of compassion and awareness of their world due to favoring their own position in the world to such an extreme from participating in such biased speciesism.

Below is the solution we came up with tonight. We did it sort of crudely and quickly, so it’s only for functionality at this point. If it works how we expect, a new fly trap will be made, perhaps even out of wood or poly-carbonate. You can do it however you’d like, but the general principles are as follows:

  • Have an independent removable chamber that will hold the fruit.  This chamber should have ventilation that the flies cant permeate.  This achieves attracting them, but they aren’t able to feed and breed.  At this point you could either just leave it, but you could as easily take it outside and remove the chamber and allow the flies free.  Keep in mind another creatures have no -intention- of frustrating or complicating our lives.  We live in such artificial worlds that we often forget we’re the exception.
  • Have a small tapered funnel at the top that is barely larger than the size of a fruit  fly.  We just used rolled up advertisement paper and some tape.  This allows the flies to come in, but nearly impossible for them to find their way out.
  • Some sort of door or opening that you can reseal.  This is to place the fruit chamber inside your jug, container, box, etc.

To make the fruit chamber, we used a small container with lid. We cut a square out of the lid. We then glued some screen mesh to the back side. On the top we placed 4-6 layers of cheese cloth cut to fit. We then glued down the trim with another piece of screen mesh. We then taped down the top edges too make sure it was held in place and fly proof.

This is 100% effective. If you build one, please let us know and even send us a photo! We will post it along with your results.

Humane Fly Trap, Fruit Fly Trap, No Kill Fly Trap

Beginning to cut out lid to glue in screen mesh

Humane Fly Trap, Fruit Fly Trap, No Kill Fly Trap

Finished vent so aroma of rotting fruit escapes

Humane Fly Trap, Fruit Fly Trap, No Kill Fly Trap

Crudely cut door to put in food chamber

Humane Fly Trap, Fruit Fly Trap, No Kill Fly Trap

Funnel of paper to diameter just larger than fruit fly

Lemon Verbena Cutting, Lemon Verbena Propagation, Rooting Hormone Propagation

Green section was taken for cutting

We finally got around to the Lemon Verbena cutting.  This plant came with a bent stem so we decided to attempt a cutting from it.  It is likely it may have survived, but we wanted to take an opportunity to try cloning the parent cutting.  It seems that this is the accepted way to propogate Lemon Verbena, as we had no luck finding seeds for sale.  We’re sure we may have found Lemon Verbena seeds if we searched harder, but usually if a seed or plant is that hard to find its for a reason.  Often the seeds aren’t viable, have a near impossible germination rate or are fradulent (or all of the above haha.)

Lemon Verbena Cutting, Lemon Verbena Propagation, Rooting Hormone Propagation

Finished preparation of Lemon Verbena cutting

The Lemon Verbena cutting was snipped away right below the last leaf node.  Then all but the top set of leaves were stripped free of the Lemon Verbena cutting.  Rooting hormone was applied with a q-tip to the set of 3 nodes and it was placed into a sand, coconut, and lava rooting mix.  The finished Lemon Verbena cutting was covered with some plastic wrap, a small hole was made, and a rubber band was added to keep the wrap in place.

We have a large selection of different plants we’ve started.  It’s a challenge to catalogue information on what we have in inventory, due to the rate it expands and the amount of diversity in what is being grown.  Here are two other of those plants.

Peanut Seedling, Peanut Plant, Grow Peanut

2 week old Peanut plant

This is a peanut plant.  It is about 2 weeks old.  It was started from raw peanuts that were purchased from…an… Asian market! Yep.  A simple soak of about 4-6 hours (or just over night) will expand the Peanut enough to where it will activate.  Make sure its raw Peanuts of course.

The Peanut plant should be planted in a very light sandy loam, so that it is able to push down and produce peanuts when it is time.  This one (along with others) will be transplanted soon.  I believe I read each peanut plant will produce 25-50 peanuts.  If you are interested in growing Peanut plants, I’d recommend more research and Youtube videos area great resource.

Jackfruit Seedling, Jackfruit Germination, Jackfruit Plant

Jackfruit Seedling

This is a Jackfruit tree.  This Jackfruit tree was started from seed along with about 25 others that came from a fresh Jackfruit purchased in early September.  Jackfruit seeds are only viable fresh and quickly decline chance to germinate as they age. The good news though is that  it has been demonstrated that they have 100% germination rate when grown in the right manner.

We’ve had about 95% success rate.  We’ve noticed 1 or 2 plants haven’t come up and the seed appears to be rotting.  However, we did many things wrong with these initially.  We planted them in too heavy of a mulch soil.  They were also left outside to temperature fluctuation from low 80’s at high down to mid 40’s at low.  These are a sub-tropical plant and we are surprised they have fared this well.

Jackfruit seeds take quite a while to germinate, so we became skeptical and carefully broke open each container to check on them and to pot the sprouting Jackfruit seeds in better soil.  This was one of the original Jackfruit trees that was the first to come up and remains undisturbed in the original soil.  Jackfruit trees have a very deep taproot and ours are probably past needing to be placed in larger pots.

The Jackfruit tree does not like to be disturbed, so we are tense about the upcoming transition.  We believe the original transplanting of the Jackfruit seeds into new soil is what caused the death of a couple.  A few Jackfruit stems had severe dryness and shrivel up and to our surprise at least one has put up an entire new fresh stem, so there may be hope for many of the damaged Jackfruit.  We have about 10 or so that have 2 or more leaves.

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