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Our intention is to use what is freely available as much as possible. All our kitchen scraps go to our three worm farms but the worms just aren’t keen on egg shells. Instead of throwing them out, I store them in a separate container next to the food scrap bin, to be ground into calcium powder for the garden.

drying-egg-shells

I try to keep them as separated as possible so the egg shells dry out in the container. I leave the container on the sink until full, which usually takes about two weeks as we have at least one egg each per day for breakfast. Before grinding, I fill the container with water and let then soak to wash off any old egg.

dried-egg-shells

Next I crush the shells onto a baking tray using my hands and leave them outside in the sun for a few days to dry out after being soaked in water.

 

preparing-to-grind-eggshells2

As you can see, they are pretty dry and crunchy. in small batches, I use a mortar and pestle to crush them.

ground-eggshells-pestle-mortar

I’ve found this isn’t quite enough to grind them into the powder I want for the garden, so I put them in a smoothie type blender to get the desired consistency. As you can see in the below photos….

If you have the time and muscle or by necessity, feel free to keep grinding by hand until you reach the desired powder like consistency.

ground-egg-shells-calcium

The three stages of grinding.

ground-egg-shells

The final product is now ready to be added to the garden as calcium. We use this on our new garden beds, add it to the compost heap, use a small sprinkle when re-potting plants and we re-apply it to each garden bed when we turn it over after a growing season. It stores well in an air-tight plastic container in a dark place like the garden shed.

eggshells-in-garden-bed

Sprinkle the calcium rich egg shells on your new or existing garden beds to provide free fertiliser to your soil. It will break down further over time and become readily available to your plants roots.

calcium-rich-garden-bed

This bed was planted two weeks ago and is thriving on a mix of mushroom compost (locally sourced), mountain soil and egg shells for calcium. We are looking forward to zuchinni, green beans, celery, snow peas and tomatoes from this particular bed.