Become a micro rancher when you help MACRO the MICRO RANCH!


Your Gifts for Contributing
Micro Booster
Micro Ranch Hand
Macro the Micro Ranch Champion
About this project

It's time to MACRO the MICRO-RANCH

Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch - Colorado's first and only edible insect farm - needs to raise more crickets and molitos to meet demand!

We need a new "micro barn" to meet demand for our sustainably-raised microlivestock! Sales have jumped up so much in the past three years that we can not keep up with local and national demand for the crickets and molitos (mealworms) we raise.

Help us raise a second micro barn! We can increase farming capacity by FOUR TIMES with a shipping container designed to raise crickets with maximum efficiency and yield. We have the orders, we have the land - all we need is you and a Chirp Box!* (see below for detailed definition of "chirp box")

With the Butterfly Pavilion, Denver’s invertebrate zoo, we recently launched Insectables, an insect snack line, now available in three Denver area museums

We have plans to expand into the remaining six museums in the beginning of 2019 and into a dozen more retail stores (think airports and at special attractions) by the end of the year. Adding new demand when already sold-out means, in theory, all the crickets and mealworms we can raise are sold before the first eggs hatch

About Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch

Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch is woman-founded and Colorado's first and only edible insect farm. One of about 12 such farms in the U.S., we raise crickets and molitos (mealworms) in a modified shipping container in the heart of Denver's vibrant Westwood neighborhood. At the macro level, RMMR is working towards solving a predicted problem we are only beginning to experience as a species: the reduced ability to raise food for a burgeoning global population due to the environmental effect of climate change on agriculture, as well as the strong effects agriculture has on increasing climate change. And, more simply, we just believe every single person has the human right to eat good, tasty food that is justly raised: just for the planet, for farmers, and for everyone.

Our origin story is also pretty simple - somewhat improbably, a 2013 UN report started founder Wendy Lu's obsession with insect farming. After starting to publish research on insect farming to improve people's access to food, she eventually could no longer stand that no one was farming insects in her home state of Colorado. In 2015, Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch was conceived! In 2017, Kyle, AKA, the "Bug Overlord" and an entomologist, joined RMMR after returning from Peace Corps service in Tanzania improving food security with bee-keeping.

In the ensuing years, sales growth has hopped like a seven week old cricket - up, up, up! Each year, sales grow by nearly ten times and now we are ready to expand production to keep growing - moving toward economic and environmental sustainability.

Whoa there, partner, you might be thinking, "Hmmm, food?"

Here's the WHY of eating insects!

  1. Delicious, luxury food:
  2. In the 164 countries where insects are eaten regularly, they're an opulence, considered a seasonal delicacy with exquisite flavors!

  3. Health:
  4. Insects are jam-packed with nutrition, way beyond protein (although most insects are a complete protein with all amino acids). Crickets, for example, have as much calcium as milk, as much iron as spinach, and as much B12 as salmon.

  5. Environmental:
  6. Farming insects needs vastly less land and water than farming other protein. Voila! Less use of natural resources means less greenhouse gas emissions. Good for you, good for the planet, and tastes great. That sounds like a pretty wonderful food, no?

*P.S. - What is a "Chirp Box" you ask? Great question! 
A Chirp Box is a shipping container farm system designed by a veteran cricket farmer JUST to raise crickets! Using this system, we can farm FIVE TIMES the amount of crickets using the same space, meaning we can raise about 600 lbs. of crickets each month, using part time labor to care for them. Chirp chirp!

“Alternative protein sources are critical to developing more sustainable and ecological food systems. Cricket farming is a simple example of low environmental impact and a high protein source.” - Green Lab, @GreenLabOrg

Learn more about us:
1st stepping-stone
Micro Ranch - Bigger, Buggier

Help RMMR get the Chirp Box ordered - this will cover the security deposit and begin construction on our new farm!

Thanks so much for helping us reach this stepping-stone!
2nd stepping-stone
Micro Ranch - Buggier, Better

Help us “raise the bug barn” - this will allow RMMR to get the Chirp Box outfitted with cricket corrals and get the starter herd to fill the box with chirps!

3rd stepping-stone
Micro Ranch Made Macro

This final push will bring them lil’ doggies to their new home on the range! We’ll be able to fill the Chirp Box with a symphony of chirps as well as set up the commercial kitchen facility to make Insectables!

Who is Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch
Wendy Lu McGill

Wendy Lu has a background in Sociological Research in International Development and Intercultural Communication, bringing a global perspective and deep understanding of the “why” and “how” of farming insects for food. She is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine ‘03-‘05) and the mother to two growing global citizens. Her favorite insect to eat so far are molitos.

Kyle Conrad
Head of Farming Production

Kyle has over eight years experience working in a wide range of entomological projects, and holds a B.S. of Biology and a minor in Entomology from Colorado State University. Passionate about insects as an environmentally sound food source, he aspires to study termites as a food source. Kyle is also a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Tanzania ‘15-‘17) and his favorite edible insect is the waxworm larvae.

Your Gifts for Contributing
Contribution of $30 or more
Micro Booster

We appreciate you joining us so much we’d like you to pick TWO boxes of Insectables in the flavors of your choice, or TWO Chirpy Jerky packages OR some combo therein. Chirp chirp. Then, how about you get a RMMR tote to carry these yummy treats, or anything else you like to carry in style? Plus a bag of super yummy Chirps and the Seek Food chef-created e-cookbook.

36 contributors
Contribution of $50 or more
Micro Ranch Hand

Thank you for lending your strong back and great faith in the micro ranch! We want to enable your bug-cookery with a copy of the Eat-A-Bug-Cookbook, the pioneering, delightful work by The Bug Chef, aka David George Gordon, as well as:

  • Two Insectables or Chirpy Jerky (or a combo, you pick)
  • Four Cultura Molitos Truffles (Created by our good friends at Cultura Chocolate, retail price $14)
  • RMMR tote bag
  • Seek Food e-cookbook
  • Chirps chips bag
44 contributors
Contribution of $150 or more
Macro the Micro Ranch Champion

Things are going to get cooking - or buggy - with a big MUCHAS MUCHAS GRACIAS for YOU, our Macro-Micro Champions!

With a donation of $150 - $499 you can chose between these offerings of gratitude:

  • $25 gift certificate for Comida restaurants in Denver
  • 2 Insectables/Chirpy Jerky
  • Cultura Chocolate insect truffles
  • Seek Food Cookbook (hard copy, $40 retail)
  • 1 hour video / in person meeting to "Ask an Insect Farmer / Food Maker" with Wendy Lu and Kyle
  • Two Insectables or Chirpy Jerky (or a combo, you pick)
  • Four Cultura Molitos Truffles (Donated by our collaborator Cultura Chocolate, retail price $14)
  • RMMR tote bag

With a donation of $500 or above, you lucky ducks can pick one of these personalized experiences:

  • A $500 gift certificate towards a visit from Comida's "Tina" the food truck! You'll get $500 worth of food, including their amazing insect cuisine. (See fine print for details)
  • Become an honorary micro-rancher by working alongside Kyle & Wendy Lu at the micro (ne macro) ranch for a day! Wear your overalls and mud boots, because you'll get your hands dirty learning the ins and outs of caring for microlivestock.
  • Seek Food Cookbook (hard copy, $40 retail)
  • Two Insectables or Chirpy Jerky (or a combo, you pick)
  • Four Cultura Molitos Truffles (Created by our good friends at Cultura Chocolate, retail price $14)
  • RMMR tote bag

16 contributors