Kitsap Roots

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Got Eggshells?

When you spend your time learning about homesteading and trying to make the most of the things you own, you start to discover all of the ways simple everyday things have value and can be used instead of discarded. Today I want to share with you a few of the many uses for the incredible edible egg...shell.

Clean eggshells

Eggs are a cornerstone of the American diet. They are economical, delicious, nutritious and can be manipulated endlessly to make tasty, filling food. In short, eggs are awesome. But where do eggshells tend to end their journey? Well, up until a few years ago, mine went in the trash. They didn't hold any value to me. Not any longer!

The number one way I use eggshells these days is as scratch for our chickens. That may seem strange at first, but your birds will thank you with more beautifully shelled eggs. Shells are primarily made of calcium, so by giving the chickens crushed up shells, their future eggs will have consistently beautiful, thickly shelled eggs.

Shell jar

Sometimes it's just quicker to toss the shells into the compost bucket, and that is an excellent destination for them as well. If composting kitchen scraps isn't your thing, you can still keep a bucket for shells and crush them to go directly into your garden. The calcium will be released slowly over time and help improve your soil. To aid in the speed of decomposition and breakdown, toss the shells in a blender with some water, and process until you're left with a fine powder. Then spread the mixture directly in the garden.

Eggshells are also a cleaning workhorse too. When you grind up clean shells, it becomes a great natural abrasive. One of my favorite ways to clean my coffee grinder is to toss some shells in and let 'er rip. Then I take a clean towel, wipe it out, and add those coffee laden shell powder to my compost bucket.

Dirty grinder

Shells in grinder

Coffee and eggshell grounds

Clean grinder

This is a short list because I just wanted to pique your interest. Do a quick internet search, and you will be flooded with ideas. I plan on trying out some other uses, like as a face mask or even in my morning coffee. I'll update you all after I've had a chance to test it out. Since the days are getting longer, we will soon be inundated with an abundance of eggs from our hens so I'll have plenty of test shells.