The most feared phrase for our employees is “Go do duckweed.”
Duckweed, sometime within the first couple of months of our operations, got introduced into the vats. It is impossible to eradicate; it can only be controlled…somewhat controlled. Since our livebearer vats contain fry, it’s not possible to simply net out the duckweed. Too many fry are captured. So, we hand pick the duckweed out, by the bucket full. Duckweed, I’m sure, doubles daily under our conditions, full sunlight, fertile water, and high water turnover. We usually feed the duckweed to litter-worm beds. The worms love it. Some of our fish will also eat duckweed, especially pink kissing gouramis.
For Easter, when we had our five grandbrats while their parents played at South by Southwest in Austin, we got 15 chicks to entertain the little ones. On a whim I poured a bucket of duckweed into their coop. After the bravest cautiously approached the pile of duckweed and even more cautiously took a quick peck, all of the by now pullets viciously attacked the duckweed. We can’t feed them too much duckweed. It’s their all-time favorite food.
I’m sure now that we have a use for duckweed, it will cease to grow. Everything is a weed until you want it to be a crop. Then it becomes next to impossible to grow.