I love eggs. I eat them every day and every day I get two egg shells. Such things should never go to waste. They are rich in calcium. I save them. They get cooked in the oven whenever the oven is being used. It isn't worth heating the oven up just for them, but I am paranoid about salmonella, so unlike some people I cook them. Then I roughly crush them and put them in a ziplock bag in my pantry until it is full. Once or twice a year I take the bag out and powder the contents in my food processor (warning doing so will cloud the bowl of your food processor). It is probably not necessary, but I think the large eggshell chunks look funny in my garden and they take forever to break down.
So what does one do with saved eggshells? Some people make their own calcium suppliments with them. I'm not quite ready to try that yet. Others swear roughly crushed eggshells kill slugs. I've tried it. My slugs laugh at such attempts to kill them and multiply.
I use it as fertilizer. Sometimes it gets sprinkled on the compost pile, but my favorite way to use them is on my tomatoes. They love them. I put the powder under them as a supplement when they get planted. If I suspect blossom end rot, I make eggshell tea to water them. Blossom end rot happens when the plant isn't taking up enough calcium. This is often the result of erratic watering, but since I can't time my rainstorms, I supplement with egg shell tea and it works.
The other day I made roast chicken. The next day of course was chicken soup to use up the carcass. As I was throwing away all those bones, I started thinking. I keep my eggshells. Why don't I keep my bones? Instead I buy bone meal for the garden. This seems kind of silly. Was there a way to grind up the bones for use. Thoughts of sledgehammers went through my mind. Though I did toss that set of bones, I started searching the web for more information.
My initial thought as I typed in my search was, "This is an awfully grisly search." I was wondering how much of my web traffic was getting monitored by some government computer somewhere and what someone would think about me wanting to know about how to grind up bones. Well it turns out it is a very common subject among pet owners that feed their cats a more natural diet. Yes they grind up chicken bones all the time with meat grinders, but raw chicken bones are easier to grind than the cooked ones. So on I went with the search.
Lots of people burn them and then put them on their garden. Not quite what I was looking for. One person uses a Vita Mixer. Another uses a pressure cooker to make his soup. It turns out when you cook chicken bones in a pressure cooker they get really soft and then break up easily. Interesting, but I don't have a pressure cooker.
Then I found my favorite site (scroll down to the article "How To Make Bone Compost"). Ah yes go back a hundred years and see how they did it then. Wood ash, bones and water together will turn bones into mush in about three months. In fact you get both your P and some K with that mixture. I'm assuming it will still be very alkaline, so great for liming my garden. If only I still used my fireplace, I'd have a steady supply of wood ash. Hmmm. I'm thinking I can get wood ash on camping trips. Or maybe I'll just go buy myself a pressure canner/cooker and make my life easy. I really would love one to can pumpkin this fall. I've been thinking of a pressure canner for some time. Then again the sledgehammer idea sounds like it might be fun.