Fly farming the new buzz in wine country

In the heart of wine country in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, there's a buzz in the air.

Renowned for its wineries, the region is becoming known for another type of production, black soldier fly larvae.

Every week a team from Mobius Farms collects around 500 kilograms of food waste from some of the region's commercial eateries, that's then fed to the fly farm's hungry larvae.

Mobius Farm's Jeannine Malcolm says she was drawn to fly farming after seeing the amount of food that goes to waste.

"When food is dumped into landfill, it rots and produces methane - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide - so what we wanted to do was address this issue using black solider fly larvae," she told AAP.

Black soldier fly larvae are known as nature's super composters. With a massive appetite, the larvae can eat twice their body weight in food a day - that's equivalent to a person eating 1400 hotdogs.

"The more I learned about them the more I saw how many applications that these insects had, not just for converting food waste but for being a viable food for pets and animals," Ms Malcolm said.

The former engineer travelled to Holland in 2017 to learn more about insect farming, before returning to Australia to buy her first batch of larvae.

"What motivates me is creating that value from something that would otherwise be seen as a waste product," she says.

Ms Malcolm says a growing number of eateries are providing her farm with waste, keen to see the organic matter being used more effectively.

In 2019, the fly farming industry was estimated to be worth around $10 million and its popularity is growing in the heart of South Australia's wine country.

Head chef at Otherness wine bar in Angaston, Sam Smith, told AAP that being in a regional area made it more difficult to get rid of food waste.

"Restaurants in Adelaide, they're able to send 100 per cent of their food waste to recycling and to green waste disposal ... it's something that we're still a bit behind on up here," he says.

His restaurant fills about three 50 litre barrels of waste a week, which is then fed to Mobius Farm's fly larvae.

"I'm very connected to food production and relationships around food production, (which) are very important to the foods we cook here," he says.

"The next step around that is what do you do with the waste from the restaurant ... As a consumer myself, I expect most businesses will be thinking about that," Mr Smith said.

While Mobius doesn't take meat scraps, the head chef says the waste he sends their way makes up a good chunk of what the wine bar produces.

"It's easy, which is very important, so I do see a lot of potential for growth," he told AAP.