Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eggshells for the Birds and the Garden

Here's a winter's worth of eggshells, all ground up. I use a small soapstone mortar and pestle to do the job.

I'm saving them to sprinkle around my tomato plants to prevent blossom end rot.

I hear they're also a useful barrier for deterring slugs. Last spring was a banner year for slugs in my garden. (You remember all that rain, don't you?) I also like to save some of the eggshells for songbirds, who by this time are scouting for nesting sites and "hooking up," in today's vernacular. Birds especially need calcium during egg-laying season.

My sister has spoiled me with her farm fresh eggs, so I only resort to buying eggs in winter, when my sister's hens have slowed production. Once you've eaten truly fresh eggs with their bright yellow yolks, the store-bought eggs actually seem a little gross.

I've also saved a few of those soft cardboard egg cartons for my vegetable seedlings, which Dad says I should be starting soon. Truth be told, I've never had much luck starting seedlings indoors, probably because I've never invested in a heating mat or grow lights. My indoor temperatures are also on the cool side (64 degrees daytime) and I know many seeds need warm temperatures to germinate. The warmest room in the house is my upstairs bathroom, which is the only room with both south and west-facing windows, so I may have to relocate the houseplant that loves its spot on top of the toilet

The big rain event here in the northeast has only just begun, but I've already been out to secure a loose shutter that was banging against the house in the driving wind. I'd just as soon stay inside for the rest of the day, but split pea soup is on the menu mid-day, and I need to get some parsnips and celery. I've also had a hankering for coleslaw these last few weeks and will be making my own today.

1 comment:

  1. There's just something so pretty about those eggs in the burl basket! I didn't realize the birds need the crushed eggshells. I assume you just spread them out on the ground and the birds find them. I'll have to do that with ours, although I don't have a supply saved up yet that would be enough for all our birds during egg laying season.