Symbi Biological

We’ve got grubs!

We received our grubs from the fine folks at ProtaCulture. Here’s what it looks like:

They were nice and small which gives us time to observe the conditions of the greenhouse as the season changes. It gets pretty hot in our part of California around October, but the cool nights start to catch up. Starting the Biopod was pretty easy. The instructions say to get some old food scraps minus the meats. That’s easier said than done on a ranch with livestock. Dorothy, our pig, got to the food scraps before I could, so I had to go looking for something else. Luckily for the grubs, we had some squash rotting that came off the vine a little early. I mixed those up with a tomato that a gopher gnawed and then some discarded lettuce leaves from the aquaponics greenhouse. Since the leaves were fresh, I placed them in a black bag in the sun to break them down a little for our new grub friends.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae Project 2.0

We are getting the Black Soldier Fly Larvae project 2.0 off to a good start. We have dedicated little greenhouse where we plan to raise these bite sized wriggly nuggets of protein and fat. We purchased a Biopod from ProtaCulture and they were nice enough to send us some starter grubs.
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Tipburn in Lettuce

We grow several different crops. Lettuces, basils, kohlrabi, cilantro, sage, and more. Most everything grows swimmingly. Well, technically, floatingly. Except sometimes, we get some tip burn in particular varieties of lettuce. Read More

Drying Spirulina

When drying Spirulina, it is important to keep it out of the sun as it zaps the nutrients out of your bounty. It also happens to turn it a pretty aquamarine when it oxidizes.

Here’s Spirulina that has been dried in the sun.



Here’s some properly dried Spirulina. Not so oxidized. Nice dark green color.



Symbi Biological is the Exploratory and Applied Sciences wing of the TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation in Pescadero, California. In cooperation with the ranch, we work on a range of projects that increase the efficiency of sustainable food production and educate the public. Currently our work focuses principally on alternative livestock feeds that can be grown simply and reliably on-farm.

Storing a Spirulina Culture

Storing a Spirulina Culture

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Growing Spirulina with CO2 enriched air from the Wormery

Aquaponics: Efficient, Effective

For 13,000 years, we were organic farmers. We concentrated on caring for the soil so that it could care for the plants. Then the world discovered fertilizer.

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InKa Biospheric Gallery

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Moving the Worm Herd

When you decide that worms are good protein for fish food, it can be exciting to look at ways to formulate the food. I figured the best way would be to collect the worms in some manner and dry them so I could make a nice worm meal powder to use in the fish food. Should be simple, right? Well, sometimes the logistics are the fun part. Here are my notes: Read More