Steve Mendez

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since Aug 15, 2013
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Recent posts by Steve Mendez

I saw a few dozen Mormon Crickets crossing the dirt road in one area. Here is a picture for reference.
There were more baby Horned Lizards out than Mormon Crickets. I turned around and went a different way, I didn't want to run over the lizards.
17 minutes ago
A few Mormon Crickets were on the move when I was out in the desert in SW Twin Falls County a couple of weeks ago. Not too bad yet this season. They travel in bands and some years they are so numerous that highways are slick in the places where they are crossing. The Highway Dept. puts out warning signs.
43 minutes ago
Grasshoppers make good fish bait. During grasshopper season fish will take grasshoppers as soon as they hit the water. Grasshoppers are good swimmers and can swim to shore quickly if they happen to land on the water.
When fishing in late summer in the streams and rivers of Cache Valley, my kids had nearly as much fun catching the grasshoppers as they did catching fish. They often caught more fish with their willow branch poles, six feet of monofilament line, and a #6 hook baited with a grasshopper than the fly fishermen who were fishing the same waters.
Freezing grasshoppers at home for later use in November and December produced good results too.
1 month ago
I'm not sure where I learned this (it might have been on Permies).

The wasps that fly around with their legs dangling down are usually less aggressive than the wasps that fly with their legs tucked up against their body.
I have noticed that the wasps that patrol our cabbage, kale, broccoli, and kohlrabi have dangling legs and are taking the small green caterpillars that they capture to their umbrella shaped paper nests under the eaves of the shed.
1 month ago
There are small/tiny farms making tremendous profits. These farms are producing products that others have not been able to figure out how to grow or even thought of growing. These products are not necessarily
food. These farms have developed strong niche markets with loyal customers who gladly pay premium prices because nobody else can reliably provide the product. These farms aren't near their customers; think UPS Next Day Air.
These farms don't have websites and avoid publicity. The last thing they want is competition (business against them).
There are plenty of wild animal and plant species waiting to reward ambition, skill, and hard work with a unique, interesting, sustainable, and lucrative farm business.
2 months ago

I know from experience that Gammerus grow quite well on commercial shrimp diets. Gammerus turn bright orange/red when boiled or stir-fried and they are delicious. They have several distinct advantages, from a farming standpoint, over the standard varieties of farmed shrimp.

I think Gammerus have tremendous potential through selective breeding, by using novel commercial rearing strategies, and by developing a niche market, to be a very profitable gourmet food item.

2 months ago
Since 1998, with the exception of March 2020 until August 2021, our little farm on less than 1/4 acre has been profitable.

First, we had to spend about 8 years with no farm income developing a wild species into a commercially viable domesticated farm animal and then developing a great niche market.

My wife and I both had off-farm jobs. After the farm started turning a profit we kept our jobs because of the pension plans and insurance and we liked our jobs/careers. The farm/business takes about 12 to 15 hrs a week.

We retired from the farm in Oct. 2021 with a nice residual income from it.

3 months ago
They were trying to improve the fishery for Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Crappie, and Largemouth Bass, as well as providing cover for prey species.
As I recall fish surveys in the early 1980s in some of the reservoirs showed a lack of juvenile fish and the Christmas trees were part of the solution. WE moved away in 1988 and I haven't kept track of the fishing since then.
The original habitat probably wasn't all that stable because the water levels fluctuated with the irrigation season.
One of my friends told me that they also tried tire piles in a similar fashion.
3 months ago

Many years ago when I lived in Cache Valley, local sportspeople and the Fish and Game had Christmas tree collection drives.  Hundreds of unflocked and untinseled trees were gathered and tied together in dozens of piles on the ice of  local reservoirs that were experiencing low natural fish reproduction because there was not much habitat available for baby fish to hide in. The weighted piles of trees sank when the ice melted and over time the fishing was much improved.  I don't think anybody considered the chemical aspect of the trees at the time and there were ag chemicals going into the lakes from the surrounding farm land anyway.
3 months ago
A pond near our farm had a recurring hydrilla problem. The owner stocked triploid grass carp in the pond last spring and the hydrilla disappeared. The cattails and bullrushes seem to be unaffected.
5 months ago