Cherry Crossing Research Center is where we conduct research on converting organic wastes like food and landscape residue into value added products. In addition to producing mulch and compost for sale to the public, we are also growing Black Soldier Fly larvae. These little bugs eat 5 times their body weight daily! They then self-harvest right into our buckets when they reach their optimal maturity to pupate into an adult Black Soldier Fly. Larvae are 42% protein and 35% fat, making them great for bait, poultry feed and fish feed. Part of our research is drying the larvae (using waste heat from our biodiesel lab) and pressing the oil out of the larvae to produce clean burning renewable biodiesel from campus food waste. Once the oil is removed, the protein portion remains as a nutritious protein meal pellet to be used for rearing tilapia at the Clemson Student Organic Farm.
To learn more about this project, you can visit the Black Soldier Fly Creative Inquiry page!