In 2013, I raised thousands of silkworms from egg to cocoon. This project started when I moved to Virginia and noticed a mulberry tree across the street from our house. Remembering how my family reared a few dozen silkworms when I was about 5 years old, I became curious to experience this again. I ordered 500 eggs, each of which are just a tiny black speck. I did not count the eggs, and let them all hatch out. For the first few days, it was easy. The silkworms were tiny and didn’t eat much. But, as they grew, they proved their voracious appetites, and I found myself visiting a dozen different trees filling the laundry basket to the brim with leaves every day. My days became hectic between feeding the silkworms, cleaning out their trays, and finding suitable housing (50 pizza boxes stacked in the living room). After a month, they finally began to spin cocoons, and only then did I count them. There were over 3,200!

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