Eggshells & Some Seed Updates

Posted By on March 12, 2016

One of the most valuable things that our chickens provide us with are eggshells. We use a coffee grinder to crush our eggshells into a very fine powder and use it as a calcium supplement for the chickens. So the eggshells are essentially just going in one large circle from egg to powder to egg again with a bit skimmed off for use by the actual chicken. So far we haven’t had to buy any oyster shells which are typically bought by chicken farmers so as to supplement their chickens with calcium. It is said that chickens will sacrifice calcium from their own bodies (bones and such) before they lay calcium deficient eggs so they need all the help they can get on that front. Usually there is some leftover powder in the dish I provide for them in the coop when I go to fill it up again which means they are getting all they need and there is extra.

Egg Shells

Egg Shells

That extra calcium powder is great for the garden. We use it as a supplement for any plant but tomatoes benefit very directly from it in the form of reduced pressure from blossom end rot. We sprinkle some around the tomato every month or so and they will be much less likely to develop this disease.

In the coffee grinder

We feed brassica plants and chard plants to our chickens during the early summer months right through to fall. They absolutely love them and get the added benefit of ingesting a lot of calcium since brassicas have lots of it. In fact, brassicas have something like 4 times as much calcium as milk on a per ounce basis.

Powdered Egg Shells

Powdered Egg Shells

 

In other news we have been busy on the seed starting front. Tonight we planted up all our brassicas and tomatoes, over planting each variety in its own pot.

Brassicas & Related

  • Ole Timey Blue Collard
  • De Cicco Broccoli
  • Cour di Bue Cabbage
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Scarlet Kale
  • Witerbi Mangold Chard
  • Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
  • Early White Vienna Kohlrabi
  • True Siberian Kale

Tomatoes

  • Rosso Sicilian
  • San Marzano
  • Red Fig
  • Wisconsin 55
  • Sweet Baby
  • Amish Paste
  • Yellow Perfection
  • Gypsy
  • Black Russian
  • Little Hagans Yellow
  • Marvel Striped

 

Brassicas & Tomatoes

 

Last Saturday we also planted a bunch of herb seeds.

 

  • Bronze Fennel
  • Zefo Fino Fennel
  • Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Curly Leaf Parsley
  • True Lavender
  • Lemon Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Anise
  • Cilantro

So far only the Anise, Bronze Fennel and Lemon Mint are up but its only been 7 days so things should come up soon.

One thing we can say for certain is that the cinnamon is making a huge difference! We got a little white mold on our fennel pot but everything has been fine. Fungus gnats are very minimal compared with last year. They are mostly coming from some houseplants and our amaryllis which we never treated until now.

Speaking of things coming up, the DW has been keeping a written journal this year and has logged everything. Just for duplication sake I think I’ll do the same on here even if I’m delayed a few days in posting. However, here is what seedlings appeared on which day so far along with how many days it took to emerge.

March 4

  • Tokyo Long White Green Onion – 6 days
  • Zebrune Shallots – 6 days

March 5

  • Rossa di Milano Onion – 7 days
  • Yellow of Parma Onion – 7 days
  • Red Weathersfield – 7 days

March 6

  • Giallo di Milano Onion – 8 days
  • Walla Walla Onion – 8 days
  • Purple Plume Celery – 8 days
  • Strawflowers – 7 days
  • Blue Bedder Salvia – 7 days

March 7

  • Long Red Florence Onion – 9 days
  • Utah Tall Celery – 9 days
  • Burgundy Supercrest Celosia – 8 days

March 8

  • Statice – 3 days
  • Zebrina – 3 days
  • Phacelia – 3 days
  • Thumbelina Zinnia – 3 days
  • Pink Cosmos – 3 days

March 10

  • Gypsophilia – 11 days
  • Candy Cane Zinnia – 5 days
  • Sea Shells Cosmos – 5 days

March 11

  • Anise – 6 days
  • Lemon Mint – 6 days

March 12

  • Bronze Fennel – 7 days
  • Orange Cosmos – 7 days
  • Shishito Pepper – 7 days

 

Here are some photos of what is coming up.

Strawflowers

Strawflowers

Sea Shells Cosmos

Bronze Fennel

Bronze Fennel

Lemon Mint

Lemon Mint

Anise

Anise

Onions & Shallots

Onions & Shallots

Utah Tall Celery

Utah Tall Celery

Pink Plume Celery

Pink Plume Celery

Gypsophilia

Gypsophilia

Celosia

Celosia

Snapdragons

Snapdragons

Blue Bedder Salvia

Blue Bedder Salvia

Phacelia

Phacelia

Candy Cane Zinnia

Candy Cane Zinnia

Giant Flowered Zinnia

Giant Flowered Zinnia

Apricot Beauty Statice

Apricot Beauty Statice

Zebrina

Zebrina

Tall Pink Cosmos

Tall Pink Cosmos

Thumbelina Zinnia

Thumbelina Zinnia

Orange Cosmos

Orange Cosmos

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