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Egg shells– do you just throw them in the trash? garbage disposal? compost? Did you know you can dry eggshells and use them for a variety of uses: here are 5 ways to do just that !
So there is a word out there that I love: permaculture. Basically what it means is that your farm, backyard, homestead or garden is doing the work for you. It’s sustainable and works together to benefit a variety of areas. I also call it “The way God intended” ! We are talking today about eggshells as a natural resource. What are natural resources?
According to Wikipedia: Natural resources are resources that exist without any actions of humankind. This includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, gravitational, electrical properties and forces, etc. On Earth, it includes sunlight, atmosphere, water, land (includes all minerals) along with all vegetation, crops, and animal life that naturally subsists upon or within the previously identified characteristics and substance
A perfect example would be the purchase of hens. They scratch and dig which provides awesome nutrients to the chicken. They eat up insects and weeds and roam in fresh air and sun which in turn lays glorious nutritious eggs for your family. Have you ever eaten or compared the egg yolk of a store bought egg vs. a pasture raised? What’s the difference? Here’s a post to help explain egg laying /buying terminology. The scratching and digging can prepare a garden bed ( natural tilling) for you AND they fertilize it with their nitrogen rich droppings. Isn’t that cool?
BUT THERE’S MORE…..
Once they lay the eggs you now have egg shells to put back into the earth, deter pesty slugs, to enhance your compost and provide natural supplementation to animals and humans alike!
That is ALOT of permaculture benefit from purchasing a few tiny baby chicks. I think it’s fascinating and an exciting aspect of homesteading – be it in your backyard or on a huge acerage!
HOW TO dry out eggshells:
With every egg I crack open at home, I give them a gentle wash under the sink making sure to rinse but not remove the membrane which is nutrient packed. Then I let them dry on a paper towel away from any source of water or moisture.
Once completely dry I can begin smashing until finely ground Alternately you can grind your completely dried egg shells in a spice grinder. I have done that too !
Some people like to bake their egg shells first to remove any risk of salmonella from raw egg residue but also to make them brittle to crush more easily ~ I personally do not as my eggs are always pasture raised and freshly laid – so I am fine with the rinsing and drying . America, by the way, is the only country to keep their eggs cold in a fridge. The rest of the world purchases eggs from a dry shelf or harvests their own which then sit on a cupboard or in a super cute egg basket like this one: As long as they are used up within a few days to a week the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. These are my experiences. You can also use a clean coffee grinder to grind the shells into a fine powder which can be advantageous in a few of the uses listed below.
5 USES FOR EGG SHELLS
So here are my 5 uses for egg shells – in no order of best to worst. ALL the uses are excellent natural resources at your fingertips. Give one a try today and leave a comment below!
1: Grow your seedlings in a nutrient dense package. Pack some starter soil into an egg shell half and plant your seed within the soil. This egg shell can sit under a grow light or sunny, warm window, kept moist and wait to see a sprout!! OR as I live in a warm and moist climate I then bury that egg shell with the seed just under the ground where I want it to grow and the shell prevents insects such as termites ( in my case) from eating the seedling and enriches the soil surrounding your new plant.
2: Add egg shells as fertilizer on new and existing plants! This worlds soil needs amendments as it is depleted of nutrients due to pollution and chemical fertilizers so by adding nature back into nature it will enrich the soil . Add finely ground shells to a hole in your soil when planting and sprinkle rough and jagged shell pieces around plants to deter pests and slugs!
*There are many additional benefits in diatomacious earth. Click the highlighted word to find out more.
3: Add egg shells to compost for their mineral content and as an amendment to correct acidic problems that can occur as PH wavers as compost breaks down. Compost in turn becomes the needed fertilizer as mentioned in number 2. There are soil amendments available in garden stores – however I always prefer totally natural sources for FREE and here in Africa I don’t have access to store bought amendments so I use: coffee grounds, crushed egg shells and worm castings along with dried grass mulch
*Check out the EcoBiz website to learn more about the huge benefit for amending soil with pure worm castings.
4: Use egg shells as a Mineral supplement for animals: I give crushed or grounded egg shells to our puppies food! The calcium in the shells works as a calcium supplement tostrengthen their growing bones. Another use for egg shells is to provide them in separate bowl as a free choice supplement for chickens. Birds don’t have teeth and therefore need some kind of grit to help them break down their food and digest it. Our chickens and ducks free range throughout the yard and pick up plenty of pebbles so I’m not concerned – however, set out as a free choice they will dip in if needed.
- Read about the benefits of moringa powder by clicking the words under the pic
5. Last but not least an amazing use of egg shells is for human consumption!
After rinsing the shells thoroughly – place cracked egg shells into a pitcher and pour boiling water over them.
Add a Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice which will help leach the minerals out of the egg shells into the water. Let egg shell water steep about 10 or so minutes.
Remove shells and keep mineral water in fridge – add a Tbsp to smoothies or coffee or just take a spoonful as a calcium supplement.
Minerals are absorbed slowly into our bodies so you don’t want to over do it. It’s like a vitamin only in liquid form. In addition – many people place finely crushed egg shells into their coffee grounds adding a tasteless additional mineral supplement to their coffee and it can reduce the bitter taste that coffee can have.
So……. what use of egg shells are you going to try? Pick one and let me know in the comments below. Are there other uses that you have tried ?? – let us know in the comments.
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