Animals,  education,  Family

Does Owning an Ant Farm Make Me a Farmer?

This is a legitimate question.

Does owning an ant farm make me a farmer?

Or just crazy because I have live ants in my house?

Ants that I PAID MONEY to bring into my home and that I’m feeding and watering.

You’re right.

I drew the same conclusion.

It definitely makes me a farmer.

Glad we cleared that up.

We recently took the kids to a place in New Jersey called Insectropolis.

It is a self-described bugseum, which is a pretty great name.

It was also a pretty great place to spend a couple of hours.

We saw thousands of bugs and even touched a few live ones including a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, a tarantula, a scorpion and a millipede.

Yes, I touched them too. That part probably does mean I’ve gone crazy.

Of course we stopped at the gift shop on our way out. Mainly because you practically have to walk through the gift shop to get out of the bugseum. Museums are very clever that way, aren’t they?

My kids each picked a souvenir. My son’s souvenir was Ant Mountain. I did a quick Amazon search while standing in the gift shop (I’m such a fun mom) and miraculously, Ant Mountain was $1 cheaper at the museum than online, so we brought it home.

Ant Mountain does not come with live ants. You have to send away for those.

It’s $4 for 25 ants and $6 for 50 ants.

You know which option my son picked, right?

It takes 2 to 3 weeks to get your ants that you can’t believe you paid money for in the mail. Ours came in 15 days.

Yes, we kept count because becoming an ant farmer is VERY EXCITING!

It’s not everyday you open your mailbox and pull out a padded envelope filled with 50 ants.

Postal workers are unsung heroes. Truly. People ship some weird stuff.

You have to put your ants in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to slow them down in order to give you a fighting chance of successfully dumping 50 ants through a small hatch at the top of the ant farm.

We dumped in 49.

Don’t worry!

#50 didn’t get loose in the house.

He or she was just stuck in the vial that we had the good luck sense to re-cap.

Unfortunately, #50 had warmed up when we realized he or she was still in the vial. Have you herded ants? It’s a lot like herding cats. Or cows. Or any other animal that is fast and doesn’t want to go through the small opening where he or she belongs.

Normally, ants are persona non grata in our house. I have the ant traps to prove it. However, when you’ve just paid 12 cents for ant #50, you’ve got to get it in the hatch.

We’ve got an ant farm to run after all.

In all seriousness, it has been fascinating to watch these ants at work. They’ve dug all these tunnels themselves. There are even some secret tunnels.

The kids feed them 2 pieces of apple or carrot the size of an unpopped kernel of corn every 3 days. They also get 2 – 3 drops of water at feeding time.

A few of the ants have died. My kids say that’s because other ants were dropping sand boulders on their heads. It’s tough on the farm.

My kids have spent time of their own volition learning all about ants and supposedly these ants should live about 4 months. Oh goody. They also tell me you need a queen in order to have ant babies (sounds about right) and we don’t have a queen.

So, unfortunately, my stint as an ant farmer might be short-lived.

I don’t know if I was cut out for the long haul anyway. All it would take is one time of not shutting the hatch tight natural disaster to end up with ants in our pants and everywhere else wipe our farm out.

You know the other thing that could wipe our farm out? That would be my daughter’s souvenir. That’s right. She brought home an actual Venus Flytrap. She calls it a carnivorous plant. I call it an insurance policy.

Everybody’s happy.


P.S. If you want to give Ant Mountain as a gift, just know that it is a tad bit anticlimactic until the ants come in the mail. After that, it’s seriously good fun and you’ll be a hero. If you do have any problems receiving your ants (we didn’t) there is a customer service number you can call. They are located in Utah.

P.P.S. The Venus Flytrap is almost as exciting to watch as the ant farm. My daughter now wants this larger Venus Flytrap. Maybe for Christmas. Let’s see if we can keep the first one alive through the fall.

P.P.S.S. Maybe we should get a tv? Or a hobby? Nah. We don’t have time. We’re farmers!


If you liked this post, let’s be friends forever. But seriously, I have some other posts you might like to read. 

You Know You’re a Farmer’s Kid When…

How I Accidentally Got My Kids Excited For College

Outdoor Decorating with Farm Junk

 

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2 Comments

  • Sandy Smith

    You are such a good mother letting your kids have a ant farm. I can see by the pictures that it would be interesting. Actually the kids learn so much by these special little farms. Thy probably know a lot more about an ant than I do. My knowledge of them is the crawl around and get in places you don’t want them to be.

    You might be a city girl now but your life started on the farm. You can’t take the farm out of a person who grew up on one. I live in town but I love to garden and be out in the yard or “my little farm”.

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