218. Organic Mosquito Control | Brown Bread Mozzie Kit Company| Brandi Stupica | Alma, Michigan

I am super excited to introduce Brandi Stupica from the Brown Bread Mozzie Kit Company, a forward thinking entrepreneurial visionary who is here to tell us about a problem that you have probably had or know someone who has had . And Bonus she’s a Rockstar Millennial!

Brandi Stupica Brown Bread Mozzie Mosquito Kit

Tell us a little about yourself.

Since you mention me being a millennial, we all have side gigs and my day time gig is I live in Alma, Michigan, and I teach developmental psychology at the college here. I have just enough free time to start this side business of 

Brown Bread Mozzie organic mosquito control

I was just looking for something to help us all not have so many mosquito bites.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I grew up in Ohio, central Ohio. 

My first gardening experience, I was a child who thought I was an adult, a Teenager.

Future Farmers Of America Organization

I was in Future Farmers of America (FFA)

I chose tomato gardening, and my dad tilled up like a 1/4 acre of our yard in town. 

I planted 32 tomato plants but they all died!

How did they die? On purpose like it was part of an experiment or that was an accident?

Idk if I want to call it and accident I just didn’t water them.

Well I can totally understand that. There are days in the middle of the summer or I won’t see the garden for 5 days. I just get busy like that, I can understand that. I know you have to make time to water. Do you just want to tell listeners real quick is FFA Future Farmers of America?

it used to stand for Future Farmer’s of America

we were told many times it doesn’t stand for that anymore. They were working on a new thing. 

from the FFA website: 

The official name of the organization is the National FFA Organization.

The letters “FFA” stand for Future Farmers of America. These letters are a part of our history and our heritage that will never change. But FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more.

We were told it encompasses more then farming. 

It’s kind of like 4H or Girlscouts or something?

Yeah but you get class credit for it

I learned

  • how to weld
  • raised rabbits
  • food science

That was something new and cool. And the you have to water tomato plants was something I learned!

So you took it in high school?

Yeah I took it in high school all four years

I lived in town. I lived in rural Ohio. 

everyone took it

it was worthwhile

It started my interest in gardening and really understanding where my food came from.

I guess I grew up outside of NY City so we didn’t have, who knows it could be there and I just down’t know about it. I was interested in gardening back then.

I don’t think all schools offer it.

So tell us about the Brown Bread Mozzie. I was reading it’s called the Brown Bread Mozzie because there’s brown bread in the bottom.

I would love to do that!

I always try to be cute and funny and come up with a name

Brown Bread Mozzie Organic Mosquito Control Kit

Brown Bread means cockney (london ) slang. If you’re in a certain part of London. 

I get a lot of people from Australia

means mosquito to them

So Brown Bread Mozzie just means dead mosquito

this came about

product

BTI

it’s in the ground everywhere. It was found in Israel initially in gutters or ditches that had run off for water. They isolated this bacteria and it ended up being all over the world.

But this bacteria when it’s in the water where the mosquitos lay their eggs, the eggs will ingest the bacteria and make their guts explode and they die. 

usually people use it when you already have standing water

you want

Most people have standing water because they don’t want to empty it.  If you have horses 

standing water

empty out their water trough

  • sprinkle it into ponds
  • bird bath

My husband and I thought why don’t you just make standing water

  • attracted to water
  • make a pond
  • you can make standing water

Brown Bread Mozzie Organic Mosquito Control Kit

put water in buckets

Every summer I complain and I would send him hunting around for standing water

putting garbage buckets around.

Im so glad you said that because I feel like I can’t take a picture in our garden without a red Folgers coffee can in it, they’re everywhere we use them for everything, compost, water, chicken food.

We put this little kit together put the BTI in the water and changed it out every couple of weeks, I didn’t have any mosquito bites that summer

I was pregnant too

I wasn’t getting them at home.

You would think the farther north.

In Michigan

Alaska 

I was just gonna say that arent’ they really big in Alaska?!

really really big

amount of breeding ground

the next summer

Brown Bread Mozzie Organic Mosquito Control Kit

I rolled out this company

People  who want and have this problem already have the buckets. So they just want me to give them the bits. 

I imagine it saves on the cost of shipping. 

Yes, the cost of shipping if I send you buckets

It also gets rid of some other things you have around?

Yes

  • black fly larvae
  • ground gnats

You know when you see that swarm, and you walk into and you feel like you have bugs all over you.

sprinkle it on the ground

Might even want to give them more water to encourage them to live there and die.

  • eating the fungus
  • sprinkle it in there
  • give them a bit more water too
  • encourage them
  • approved for organic gardening use

I heard when you were on that interview with Mike Posledsney his listenesr were gonna say what about beneficial insects? And it doesn’t harm them right. 

It’s OMRI approved right?

doesn’t harm the beneficial

Brown Bread Mozzie Mosquito Kit

People ask what if we got rid of all the mosquitos?

If we got rid of the population

world ecology

there aren’t enough animals that need mosquito

That’s not gonna happen? I mean mosquitos can be deadly right?

  • dengue fever
  • malaria
  • zikka

been around some time before we have to worry about that. What concerns me as a developmental psychologists.

We’re not even sure about the long term consequences, we don’t know in utero the subtle differences

yeah

so

the incubation period

It could be decades

Could be some sort of euro degenerative disease that your more likely to have in middle age because you were exposed to it as a baby.

I wanna say there was a girl in my high school who got like bit by a mosquito when she had the chicken pox and it made her face have spots, she had to go through many painful procedures. IT was sad and just a fluke thing.

Brown Bread Mozzie Organic Mosquito Control Kit

if you want the whole kit

  • the buckets are 1 gallon
  • one scoop about a tablespoon
  • fill the bucket about 1/2 way
  • you can dump it in your grass
  • about a month the bacteria start to die and become less effective. 

You want to keep baiting mosquitos into your yard

We came back from overseas and we had a lot of rain here and our neighbor helpfully turned it over for us. When we came back we realized what a natural intervention it is because when we left we didn’t have any mosquitos

living in the jungle being like

here’s the great thing

things your listeners should know

  • don’t sit around and eat it like common sense
  • If you get exposed to it you’re immune to it

don’t even have the receptors so it came out like it came in

carrier that it is on

organic material

Brown Bread Mozzie Mosquito Kit

whatever plant material it is made out of

  • kids put their hands in it
  • dog drinks out of it
  • cat
  • sprinkle it in your troughs in your farm

you go out and you want to tend to your animals and your getting bit up

Same with chickens

doesn’t affect birds and worms

I can’t be more happy with it, it’s just a bacteria that you’re already exposed

I would think the animals would appreciate it because it would reduce their mosquito bites too! What about bats?

It wont hurt them

  • bats don’t really fly low enough
  • what’s funny about bats
  • they eat insects that fly higher
  • yes it won’t hurt them
  • bat’s aren’t really helping you with your mosquito problem.

So, my listeners are very entrepreneurial and do you have any advice for people about the business/marketing end?

It is, confusing it’s hard

what I’ve learned its ok for it to be hard

recognize it and go forward anyway

You have to put yourself out there in ways you just don’t feel comfortable

marketing is tricky I’m still learning

currently my mentor and inspiration is Tim Ferris

wrote the The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

and has a podcast I listen to.

I’d suggest check into him.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

I read the 4 Hour Work Week and have read his podcast. One you might want to check out is EoFire, but one that I don’t know why he doesn’t promote more is his girlfriends show Kate’s Take. The other one is Amy Porterfeild who has Online Marketing Made Easy. And listeners Tim Ferris’ goal is not really that you work only 4 hours a week but more that you enjoy work and he’s really into lifestyle design.

 

 

 

Mini retirements

Living the life you really want to live now instead of waiting for retirement. He’s into some power learning, he has like a genius IQ. I love his challenges in the beginning of his book, when I first read it I made a great friend in France who would do his challenges.

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

How did you learn how to garden organically?

At first it was really just a matter of putting plants, when I lived in apartments we put plants in planters and watered them an hoped for the best. 

Tomatoes

I’m sure you know tomatoes always always produce if you water them

Once you have a tomato from your own garden you can’t buy one of the flavorless meely tomatoes from the grocery store

Once you get tomatoes you have so many tomatoes

tomato recipes

always have this delicious

simple

  • tomatoes
  • good balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • basil
  • oregano

grows better in your garden

cilantro is amazing in Michigan which was amazing to me!

So then I learned how to can

My husband likes to spend $0 on anything

ball jars

canning those for free

go to the grocery store

get in a glass jar canned tomatoes they’re like $8.00.

I think finally the price of food in 2018, I went to the grocery store, I could just feel the stress relief, I’m looking at the guy expecting him to say over $100 for the 2 bags of groceries on the counter and it was only $75. 

Also, I say Mike cans pickle beets and I use them for tomatoes in Winter.

goal here is to do

possible they say

to grow 90% of my own produce

set up a bit of a green house here in Michigan.

That’s Mike’s goal too to grow our own produce for us so we don’t have to buy much, and then we’re kind of trying to break into the market farm business but that is a huge learning curve. I can’t get over how much Mike grew last year for us it was like 10 times what he’s ever produced.

And then I also talked to Jes Pearce from the Jacob Jevins Center down in California, and she talked about growing like your whole diet.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

What really grew well, I was on maternity leave. She is a year old, she was 6 months so you don’t get out much when you have a child who won’t stop nursing

neglected the garden. What grew well was asparagus!

We planted it when we moved here

And it grew taller then us!

It was incredible

We want to put in a couple more beds. 

18 square foot bed of asparagus

out of the area that we had

7 or 8 meals of asparagus

it really thrived on us not doing anything so I loved that. 

The cucumbers did well too.

That’s so cool! I was just talking about asparagus yesterday because he built a raspberry bed and I thought maybe we should put the asparagus in there. When I talked to Sarah Harding from Buggy Road Farm the farmer’s market told her she could sell every spear of asparagus she could grow. 

Now if you’re listening asparagus take years to grow from seed but if you have a fresh asparagus  right out of the ground is so tender they hardly ever make it to the house, you will just want to eat them fresh out of the ground.

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

Strawberries

we haven’t really gotten any strawberries in

propogating and coming back

cool spot in my yard that is sloped really deeply, so I am gonna put in some steps and plant them sort of like the steps

It will be a strawberry retaining producing retaining wall, it’s south facing and sunny. 

My kid loves strawberries! He loves going out and foraging!

Even though Sheldon on the Big Bang last night was telling Penny, a strawberry is technically not a fruit, so what is it? I realized that’s my first choice at the fruit and vegetable salad bar at lunch. 

Tell me about some thing that didn’t work so well this season.

My husband had been reading about square foot gardening

where you mix your plants

supposed to increase your yield

10%

I hated going into the garden

really like to have my plants organized

cherry tomatoes

trying to grow melons that never get big enough.

I need to send you some melon seeds we got from Seeds Trust, they’re really tiny, they’re like the softball, they grew. 

I had the worst time trying to find the any type of melon that would grow here.

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

Harvesting

IDK y, I just don’t like doing it, I like looking at things on the vine I think. 

I totally agree, it;s hard work, all happens at the same time, everything’s ready. If it was just me, I would just have like a little salad garden outside my kitchen, like when the green beans are ready and we have to harvest baskets full and your bending over. I’m just a whiner I know but I like deep beds where you can sit on the side if I’m gonna harvest a bunch.

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?f

I really like to weed!

Well that’s interesting.

idk why?

I think I know why, because to me weeding is like erasing the chalk board and you sound like you like things very organized and neat and when it’s done it looks good.

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

I really have enjoyed saving our eggshells

When you get that black hard spot on the bottom

saving our egg shells

calcium

tomatoes

Do you wash them? He washes them and puts them in the hole.

We crush them up, my husband and my son sort of like squeezing grapes, but them on the ground and squish them with their feet.

don’t wash them.

He must have read that somewhere.

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

I really like our tiller

I would keep that one

everything else you can pretty much do with your hands.

Cool. Like a motorized one? 

Yes.

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

Tomatoes for a greek salad

A favorite internet resource?

Here I’m from Ohio, and I hate to admit this but I love using Michigan State’s University

they’re

resources for living

handy little pdf’s that are accessible.

Is that like the extension. 

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

what started me  was the gardening guy

answer’s questions

P Allen Smith Garden Home

I love watching P. Allen Smith

he is my spirit animal

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

My advice is you should not be afraid to be embarrassed! It’s humiliating work and it’s humbling. The first thing you roll out, it will be embarrassing

try as hard as you can not to make it embarrassing, you will be cautious.

let it go

There’s that quote by Reed Hoffman of Linked in that goes if you’re not embarrassed by the first product you shipped too late. 

I just released two products in November. This guy challenged me to get a product out by Black Friday, I get it out there, the first thing I’m doing is filling in all the days, the first thing I did was go in and fill in 365 days… and then Mike and I our name is not on it anywhere. My mom is like are you kidding me? The 2018 Data Garden Journal our name is not on it anywhere except on the inside page somewhere. 

Then over Christmas we worked on a free garden course and goal challenge and I know it’s gonna be embarrassing and next year I’m gonna be like what did you do? And you know my podcast is like that I thought I was gonna build my online business and the gardening thing was just a shiny penny but it took off and I know John Lee Dumas says focus.

But I want to be a children’s illustrator but what I’ve learned from my podcast. I always laugh cause they say entrepreneur life is like a roller coaster, try teaching, there’s always something the kids or parents or principals or coach, I’m always like seriously how did this happen today?

Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

There are a lot of things that could happen politically, like we need to stop reliying on cars. We need better public transportation.  We are going to run out of oil someday

fresh water supply

what could we do right now

Just compost your food garbage, you don’t really have to do anything special, just dump it into your yard somewhere till it rots.

Except keep the animals out. But that’s the first thing in our course is if you are not composting Stop right now and get a compost bucket going! I might not be the gardener but composting is so easy I do that part.

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

It’s not gonna be something like quotable to put in a t-shirt or anything like that but there’s just so much satisfaction you get from growing your own food!

It’s so primal  and so satisfactory to know there is some amount of you that is capable of feeding yourself without any intervention source! You can just plant something, minimally take care of it and feed yourself and take care of it.

I used to say I had a brown thumb but I’ve learned so much and I have this apartment where I teach and I have a little lettuce bed in my window and it’s true you can grow things pretty easily.

How do we connect with you?

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 8.26.39 PM

go to the website

brownbreadmozzie.com

discount

friend10 for 10% off

You connect with us at twitter

@stucoinc

or on Facebook

info@brownbreadmozzie.com

I think people are gonna love this, another rockstar millennial, if you’re having a farm dinner or a wedding outside this is awesome! 

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