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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had a thought! (I know... I know...) LOL!

BT is a bacteria or something like that, right? I wonder if it could be made to reproduce like sourdough starter or buttermilk culture. hmmm

Does anyone have any ideas? I was thinking about putting it in a jar with water and something to feed it, but I have no idea what it would feed on. Wouldn't that be nifty if we could grow our own BT???

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Any thoughts? Anybody? I know I can't be the only one who would try this...
 

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I'm horrible with my sourdough starter so I'm no help there. But with buttermilk, you need pasteurized milk, a sterilized container, so you can have a pure culture. Some people even go so far as holding a flame near the opening when pouring the culture into the milk to maintain a pure culture.

The buttermilk is a meso. so just keep it warm and incubating say 24-48hrs. then pour your starters into sterlized ice cube trays.
Redo as much as necessary.
Megan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have had great success with sourdough and buttermilk, but I want to see if I can reproduce Bacillus thuringiensis, which is an organic pesticide, also known as "BT". I guess I didn't make that clear and my title on this thread is not interesting enough to get much attention. LOL!

But, thanks, Megan, for a response at all. :)
 

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A long long time ago I remember reading something about this. We probably don't hear about it because there is a copywrite on the making of Bt. The article may have been in Mother Earth news or one of the Rodale magazines. Do you suppose someone at Dave's Garden can help us? I let my subscription laps or I would post an inquiry there.
Linda
 

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BT is short for Bacillus thuringensis. It's the bacteria I did my phD thesis on. Yes, a spore suspension you buy in the store can be used to grow more BT. You pose an interesting question. Since I have access to standard laboratory supplies, I haven't given any thought to growing it at home with homemade supplies. Probably the easiest thing to try is growing it in some beer malt. Go to a home brewing shop in your areas and buy some pre-made dried malt powder. Dissolve in the recommended volume of water, sterilize it, and instead of adding yeast, you would add a tiny pinch of BT powder.

If you really wanted to grow it like a real microbiologist would, you can also buy some agar, added about 1.5 grams of agar powder to each 100ml of beer malt. Sterilize that in a glass jar in a pressure canner, then tilt the jar on its side to get the agar/malt solidify into a nice smooth surface. When you are ready to culture the BT, just take a length of fine steel wire that you heated on the kitchen stove, then cool it and spread a pinprick of BT across the surface of the agar. Make a loop at the end of the wire so you don't rip the agar.

After about 4-5 days of incubation at room temperature, the BT will have completed its life cycle, sporelated, an released its insectisidal toxin ready to use. You can add some water to the jar at this point, shake to dislodge the cells, and stick it straight in you plant sprayer. You can culture it this way indefinately. Since BT forms spores, you can leave the jar lid loose and let the agar dry out. My experience is that dried spores on an agar film survive for months or years, and are easily brought back to live by transferring back to fresh agar.

Have fun,
Michael
 

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I want to see if I can reproduce Bacillus thuringiensis, which is an organic pesticide, also known as "BT"
LOL. Makes sense now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Michael,

Thanks! That is exactly what I wanted to know. :)

Megan,

;) Where are you in N.E. Alabama? I was born in Huntsville. I have a lot of family there.
 

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I have used rye flour with good results in place of BT. for mothes and cattapillars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SquashNut,

Please elaborate! I would love to use something as harmless as rye flour, if it works.
:)
 

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One could always whiz up a few of the sick caterpillers in the blender, add that to some warmish water in the sprayer. Keep a cycle going that way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had another thought last night! (I can't seem to stop! LOL!) Squash nut mentioned rye flour for cabbage worms, etc. I got to thinking about my sourdough starter. It separates and a dark liquid rises to the top. I wonder if you made a starter with rye flour and poured the liquid off, would that make a good cabbage worm killer? I know it is a million to one shot that anyone has ever tried that, but I think I am going to try it. I just thought I would share that light bulb moment.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Seeria,

Moonshine? LOL! I don't know, but I'm certainly not going to drink it to find out. If you do, let us know. LOL!
 
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