Save Your Egg Shells

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I have known the benefits of egg shells and been saving my egg shells for a while now. People when they come to my house wonder why I have the glass jar filled with egg shells and I am always left to explain to them why it is a good idea.

We use a lot of eggs in our house and we have a compost heap as well as lots of plants. So in an effort to get the most out of my scraps I knew I had to save my egg shells. Since I get asked so many times why save your egg shell? I figured I should research it more and share it with you here.

Why should you put egg shells in your garden?

Egg shells are very rich in calcium and all plants need calcium to grow. Some plants deplete calcium faster than others. Heavy rain and over watering can also wash away calcium from the soil making it more essential for you to replace.

How should I prepare and store my egg shells?

I keep my egg shells in a glass jar so they can dry out (do not put dirty or wet with egg yolk shells in the garden). Crush up the egg shells into tiny pieces. The smaller the pieces the easier it will be for it to breakdown and get the calcium into the soil.

How do I use them?

You can put the egg shells in the bottom of a planter this will help get the nutrients into the soil and right to roots. It will also help with drainage. You can also place the crushed egg shells in the bottom of a hole when you plant your flowers or vegetables or place around the stems of the plants.

Are there particular plants they work well with?

I have read that they work particularly well for peppers, tomatoes (helps prevent blossom end rot), broccoli, and cabbage. They also help deter slugs and cutworms (if you have a slug issue you can also put small saucers of beer in the garden, they will be attracted to that and no eat you plants).

What if I just want to compost them?

Make sure they are dry before you put them in your compost heap or bin. You can put them in as a larger pieces because your compost will work at a different rate.  I recommend that your compost be well balanced and rich in many nutrients so even if you use your egg shells in your planters and around your plants put some in your compost as well.

Now maybe when visitors to my house ask my why I save my egg shells I can give them the Barney Stinson response from How I Met Your Mother “Don’t you ever read my blog.”

Do you know any other plants that egg shells work well with?

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What Company is Really Making Your Favorite Food?

The image above has been circulating around Facebook and Twitter all week in the circle of environmentalist. California voters have a chance to change our food supply this November by voting to have GMO’s labeled on packaging. There are many companies that are fighting this measure and putting their money where their mouth is.

As with all major political battles people look to see who is behind the money. The poster above from the Cornucopia Institute shows what companies are contributing money to fight the labeling campaign but what I think has struck people even more is their favorite organic companies are actually owned by big business.

  • Izze and Naked Juice is owned by Pepsi has donated over $1.7 M
  • Honest Tea, Odwalla, and Simply Orange is owned by Coca Cola has donated over $1M
  • Kashi, Morning Star Farms, Garden Burger, and Bare Naked owned by Kellogg has donated over $600,000
  • Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and Lara Bar owned by General Mills has donated $500,000
  • RW Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic owned by Smuckers donated over $350,000
  • Horizon Organic and Silk owned by Dean Foods donated over $250,000

So what does this mean for the GMO fight? Probably not that much. These parent companies have so many brands it does not mean that their fight against GMO labeling means they are going to use them in the “natural” products listed above. These parent companies also have a lot more money they can pump into this fight in the next 2 months. On the simplest level these companies¬†have a reason to fight it because they have to change all their labeling.

What I think it shows consumers, and this is what shocked so many this week, is that our “healthy” food is actually part of the huge corporate food structure in the US. Our food supply is ruled by big business, a fact we all really know, but when we shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s we feel like we are beating big business and eating healthy. This food may still be healthier for us and have less impact on the planet but it is part of our modern food chain.

So do we run for the hills and assume we can never eat anything ever again? No, that is just not possible. We can get GMO’s labeled and know what we are eating. So if some of these big companies feel that they want to offer cheaper food with GMO’s we can avoid them. If we want to go to Whole Foods and choose food that does not contain GMO’s we can do that to.

We cannot change the modern food supply overnight so we need to make sure that we are informed so our choices can make the food supply what we really want it to be.