Most of us know that eggs are “good for the garden.” When my friend Ilse offered me the 7 dozen eggshells she’d cracked into meatloaf at our monthly volunteer gig, the Bellingham Community Meal, I jumped on that with alacrity, spending a happy hour “smooshing” (c’mon, autocorrect, smooshing IS a word) eggshells between my gloved hands and sprinkling them liberally throughout the garden.
Surveying my work, I wondered what egg shells really do in the garden. Sure, they add calcium to soil and compost. I have been religiously adding our eggshells to our deck composter since we got it two years ago.
But what else could they do? Curious, I typed a “long tail search” into Google: “eggshells in gardens.” Somewhere, I’d find out the whole scoop on what you can do with eggshells.
Sure enough, the Care2 website had a great article on “5 Ways to Use Eggshells in Your Garden” that explains how and why, with a darling picture, too.
1. “Add crushed eggshells to the bottom of planting holes, especially for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. These crops are susceptible to blossom end rot, which is caused by calcium deficiency. While this deficiency is most often caused by improper watering, there’s no harm in making sure your plants have a steady source of calcium. As the eggshells break down, they’ll nourish the soil, and your plants.
3. Use crushed eggshells to deter slugs, snails, and cutworms. These garden pests are a real pain in the gardener’s neck, and cutworms are the worst, killing seedlings by severing the stems at soil level. All three of these pests have soft undersides, and dislike slithering across anything sharp. Crushed eggshells, applied to the soil’s surface, may help deter these pests.
4. Add them to the compost pile. If you aren’t planting tomatoes or trying to deter slugs, add the eggshells to your compost pile, where they’ll add calcium to your finished compost.
5. If you are feeding birds in your yard, crush up the eggshells and add them to a dish near the feeder. Female birds, particularly those who are getting ready to lay eggs or recently finished laying, require extra calcium and will definitely appreciate it!
No matter how you want to use them, be sure to rinse the shells out well before using them in the garden.”
Great advice, but then all this talk about eggs started making me hungry for an egg dish for lunch. Checking the refrigerator, I created:
- 5-6 fresh organic strawberries, hulled, sliced and put in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet inside oven and preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until light. Add milk and stir. Gradually whisk in flour, nutmeg and salt.
- Remove skillet from oven and reduce oven heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt butter in hot skillet so that inside of skillet is completely coated with butter. Pour all the batter in the skillet and return skillet to oven.
- Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes.
- Remove promptly from the oven and slide onto serving plate.
- Spoon strawberries over the Dutch Baby and dust with confectioners sugar.