Sunday, 26 October 2008

[Turtlewind] Moth Farming For Fun And Profit


As many of my friends and remaining family know, I love to partake in the ancient field of moth-farming. Every evening after work, I take my car down to the local moth farm to help my fellow workers in cultivating next year's crop of moths. It's a dangerous and dirty business, but someone has to do it. And the pay is good (subsidised by the government)

Moth farms are one of the least-known agricultural projects in the UK, but in fact they have been active in this country since the fifteenth century, when moths were first farmed in large numbers in order to drive away the infestation of killer voles (moths being the natural enemy of voles).

The most common moths to be farmed in the British Isles are the common Grey Moth (Gristis Vulgaris) more commonly known as the Bitter Moth, for it's unique aftertaste. The Victory Leo is generally seen as a superior breed, though can be difficult to farm in large numbers without the right equipment (such as protective gloves, netting, and mecha)

Many people have an innate fear of moths - only the bravest can even hope to become moth farmers. Many dangers await the common moth farmer, from disembowelment on the wing-cutter, to being accidentally gutted by the patch-stitcher. One former acquaintance once lost an eye when after a breach in the electric netting, a moth escaped!

The common moth is a cunning creature - even more so as a result of the intensive farming process. But how is it carried out? Firstly, moth eggs are harvested from the Queen Moth which resides slumbering beneath the Houses of Parliament. It is said that if ever England is in peril, she will awaken to defend us all!

The eggs are then shipped to special farms all over the British isles, where volunteers sit on them to keep them incubated. And then finally the moths hatch... but they are not like the moths we know and love! No, they must first be farmed.

The baby moth is something most normal people have never seen. It looks very much like a butterfly, only with large, square wings. The first thing that needs to be done is for the wings to be cut to exactly the right shape. It is a skilled job, and sad to say, wing-cutters are a dying breed.

The moths are then individually strapped down to a massive network of boards, and forced to watch videos of Nazi Germany and various beatings, all the time being drugged, so that they will not turn into Evil Moths. Any moths that resist the treatment are removed to be taken to the firing squad (one Evil Moth can decimate an entire Primary School!)

The remaining moths are then sprinkled with flying dust, so that they can take to the air. The dust hardens their wings into a proper flight alignment. After being left to recharge in moth rechargers, they are ready to be let loose.

As you can see, it is a pretty intensive process, but a very rewarding career. The moths look after themselves once they're free, constantly recharging themselves on the ordinary household lightbulb (an invention of Edison, Chairman of the Moth Council), and always on the look-out for any rogue voles, or enemies of the state.

So next time you see a moth flying overhead, don't just pluck it out of the air and gobble it up. No, salute the little fellow. He's more important than you.

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