There are grasshoppers everywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. You see them during the day as they jump away from as you go about your business. And you hear them at night as they sing you to sleep. They thrive in the open plains and short grass.
How can we capitalize on the fact that grasshoppers love it here?
The consensus is that harvesting insects from the wild is risky because we don’t know where they have been (As in the neighbor’s yard where they just sprayed fertilizer and pesticides). What if I go out into a state park and catch some tasty treats there? What if we farm grasshoppers in the ‘middle of nowhere’ Texas?
- Buy, rent or borrow a large plot of prairie land away from other cultivated land.
- Select a grasshopper species that is already successful in that area. Differential Grasshopper?
- Foster shrubs and grasses that accommodate that species of grasshopper. Mow the perimeter to prevent inward or outward migration.
- Add the grasshopper to the field. You probably need to farm eggs/nymphs in a controlled setting like they do for crickets. I understand this can be difficult but it may be easier if the grasshoppers only live part of their life cycle in a man-made environment.
- Sit back and relax as the grasshoppers mature.
- Harvest by attaching nets to traditional farming tractors and sweep the plot in an inward spiral. They do this by hand in Asia.
- Freeze for storage.
Just go to a middle of nowhere field and harvest. Depending on the time of year there may be plenty to catch. Then send a sample out to a lab for analytical testing including heavy metals, pathogens and pesticide residue. The contamination issue is solved assuming the results come back negative for any bad stuff. Make huge profits with little work by selling the catch to restaurants or processors.
Plan C and more: This Mother Earth News article has great insight on grasshopper harvesting.
- Farm insects in their natural habitat and climate.
- Instead of controlling the entire farming operation, let grasshoppers be grasshoppers and ensure safety and wholesomeness of the product with post-harvest testing. Companies such as Certified Laboratories specialized in doing such safety analyses.
- What insect thrive in your area?