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This is a story about eggshells…
Recently the spice grinder that I used to powder eggshells for my garden (as mentioned in my “Let’s Talk Tomato Tips” post) died. As frustrating and sad as it was, it was understandable – it had been my grandmother’s and it was purchased by her in the 60’s.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
So I started looking for an alternative way to powder the eggshells for the garden. (They are best powdered because they have more surface area and decompose into the soil faster, thus getting the nutrients (calcium) to the plants faster than if I leave them whole.)
My eggshell basket was getting full, so this was rapidly becoming a priority.
The food processor alone did not get the shells broken down into small enough pieces – they were more like shards.
Then I discovered a new way of using the food processor to get the job done! It simply required an extra step before loading up the food processor and punching the HIGH button…
I took my loaded eggshell collection basket and poured them all into the basket of my air fryer. I set the temperature nob to 400ᵒ and set the timer for 30 minutes. (The white eggshells come out tanner and the brown eggshells come out lighter, and anything left inside the shells becomes crisp.)
(Air fryers are great kitchen appliances, If you are in the market for one, this one is great!)
*I must warn you that this part of the process has a rather unpleasant stink to it. You might want to light a candle or two.*
After the timer went off, I set them aside on some potholders to cool a smidge before trying to handle them.
Next, I added about a quarter of them to my food processor and pulverized them on high. When they were condensed, I added a quarter more…and repeated the process until they had all been well pulverized. After that I added them to the scant amount I still had in my eggshell jar (a recycled Classico jar).
Baking them (in an air fryer or an oven), dries them. By removing all the water from the structure of the eggshell makes it more brittle – making them easier to bust up. Their retained moisture is what kept them from being able to be powdered in the food processor without baking them.
- Bake eggshells at 400ᵒ for 30 minutes.
- Use a food processor or blender to grind up the eggshells.
- Store them in a jar or baggie until ready to use.
If you need a food processor, this is the one I have and I love it!
Great gardening uses of eggshells:
– It helps combat blossom end rot in tomatoes by providing the calcium tomato plants need.
-Some claim eggshells in a garden help deter slugs and other pests.
-Their calcium content makes them a great addition to any compost heap.
Random side note:
While writing this my brain modified Jimmy Buffett’s song “Gypsies in the Palace” to “Eggshells in the Garden”…
“We’re eggshells in the garden, there ain’t no wrong or right
We’re eggshells in the garden, and we’re going wild tonight.”