I know I said you can’t compost meat in your backyard bin. And you still shouldn’t, so don’t. But there is one meatish item that is awesome for the compost bin and won’t end up a stinky mess. The incredible, inedible egg shell.
Egg shells are high in calcium, something plants need for cell growth. And we tend to have a lot of them (at least we do in my chocolate chip cookie loving household) so why not turn them into something useful? Egg-actly.
Egg shells will take a while to break down but you can speed up the process by crushing them before you toss them in the bin. You can even get out a nice hammer if you really want to break it up fast. Or if you just have pent up aggression and really need to smash something. I don’t think the egg shells will mind.
Some people rinse the shells or bake them to make sure they are free from salmonella. All the avid composters I know just crush them up and toss them in (of course, we may be the same carefree folks eating raw cookie dough when no one is looking). Since I doubt I’ll be licking my fingers next time I reach into my compost bin, I’m not too worried. But use your own discretion.
Another consideration: while egg shells may be great for your plants, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Consider testing your soil fertility to see what your soil needs. Call the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District for more information on soil testing (772-7645).
Supposedly you can compost other shells as well, but since shellfish tend to creep me out I never have. Has anyone tried composting other kinds of shells?