Nova Scotia Farm Raises Locusts

Some of the millions of locusts raised at Midgard Farm in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia / Megan Mahon
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A graduate of the Nova Scotia Agricultural School, Joy Hillier, wanted to fill a gap in the breeding range of her province. She has been involved in locust breeding, an insect that is increasingly popular because it is rich in protein.

She launched Midgard Insect Farm, a farm that has just been recognized by Innovacorp. The provincial development agency provides financial assistance to innovative companies using green technologies.

Midgard Farms transforms its locusts into animal feed in a large warehouse in Windsor, in the Annapolis Valley. The warehouse is filled, from the floor to the ceiling, with shelves on which are placed the boxes where the locusts mature.

They are raised four million at a time. Every six weeks insects are put in hibernation and frozen. They are then either dried under vacuum or reduced to powder, for the feed market.

Joy Hillier, the founder of Midgard Insect Farm, shows a sample of her locusts to Chuck Maillet of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.   Photo: Communications Nova Scotia / Megan Mahon
Joy Hillier, the founder of Midgard Insect Farm, shows a sample of her locusts to Chuck Maillet of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia / Megan Mahon


Healthy, environmentally friendly food

This food is rich in protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, says Joy Hillier. She says that the flesh of crickets also has more magnesium and iron than beef, to equal weight.

Hillier points out, however, that a type of farming that is more environmentally friendly than traditional cattle or pig farms, since locusts require less water, less food And are raised in much smaller spaces.

Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.


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