Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Walking on eggshells.

I'll start with a little background first. We eat a lot of eggs. The best part of the day is heading out to the coop and checking on the urban-fresh eggs. Each morning we crack up a few in a pan along with some toast and butter. Ahhh. Nothing like it. Sometimes my day just isn't complete without an egg; served any style. I made the mistake many years ago to allow my brother and sister into my car when they came upon a dozen, hard-boiled eggs on my console. Yes, it's true. It's a favorite snack and I was traveling a lot so I never wanted to be without. Even before I had chickens, I would buy the case of five-dozen eggs - and I lived alone at the time. Crazy, right?

So, my love for eggs runs deep. And this love of eggs creates a lot of eggshells. Although we always compost our endless river of shells, we've been exploring new twists in our quest to reuse materials and found some amazing uses for crushed up egg shells:
  • Got slugs? Slugs hate to slither across scratchy surfaces to get to your plants and wreak havoc. So, why not smash up dried eggshells and sprinkle around each plant; it acts as a barrier of protection. Each time it rains, though, you have to put down a fresh layer of shells.
  • Sprinkling shells in a hole before planting adds additional calcium which encourages a healthier plant by staving off blossom end rot. We added shells to our tomato plant soil and it will, no doubt, yield us endless amounts of sweet tomatoes!
  • Yes, my chickens eat chicken and they eat fried, scrambled and poached eggs, too. They also eat eggshells, and eggshells provide added calcium to help their own eggshells strong. We just sprinkle it throughout their coop for them to peck when needed.
  • Come February each year, we are knee-deep in seedling starts and we keep planting throughout the spring. Fill half an eggshell with seedling mix and add your seed -whoa-la, you have free seedling containers and they stand up perfectly in their cartons. When the seedlings are big enough to transplant, break up the shell and replant.
  • A natural alternative to chemically-rich Drano, is sprinkling eggshells in your drain screen to allow calcium to run through your pipes and reduce residue and help keep your pipes clean.
  • You can also put a couple spoonfuls in your thermos and coffee pot; add water and shake to, also, eliminate stained sediment and residue.
  • Don't throw out the water you hard-boiled your eggs in. Save it and pour around base of plants for added nutrients.
Dry out eggshells before breaking them up. You can store in a container for future use and enjoy all the good things from reusing eggshells - the natural way.

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