Monday, 25 February 2013

Hens, Seeds and Egg Shells

Hello All !
Well it's still very cold out here but at least it's not wet. I forgot that I had taken this pic of some of the hens in the snow. They love this part of the front garden as it is below the bird feeders! Not all the hens will come out in the snow, but this lot seem particularly hardy, the Buff Orpingtons especially so.

 This next picture was taken a few days ago, showing two happy Black Marans on the roof of the workshop. 

While I have already started some seeds off under heat or glass I haven't got organised yet for the major planting time. So today I have emptied the main seed box out to see what I've got. I have been saving a lot of my own seed for some years now, which accounts for the hotchpotch of containers, packets etc. I also have several jars of bean seed. ( We grow a LOT of beans!) So today I will be sorting the seed out and hope that I don't need to buy many more for this year.

The next photo accompanies my quick masterclass on how to use your egg shells to deter slugs ! I believe it is important that you cook your eggshells. Firstly, to ensure that the yolk that provides food for vermin is cooked out and secondly to ensure that the shells are really hard. 
I keep an old baking tray at the bottom of the oven and place egg shells in it as and when. The shells are then cooked whenever the oven is on. I use quite a lot of eggs so it doesn't take long before I have a tray full. 
When the shells are cold I put them in an old bread wrapper ( I always save these for re-use - especially good for collecting dog poo!) and and crush them with a rolling pin. I then have a bag of really sharp, fine shell that is sterile, not unattractive to look at but not attractive to vermin.

The hens are laying much better now. When I work out how to do it I shall start recording the egg totals in the side bar.
I have been finishing off some projects over the weekend. I have FINALLY finished my jumper .. Hurrah! and very comfy and warm it is too. I have also reseated and covered a chair, two stools and a couple of benches.....Pictures to follow.
That's all for now. thanks for reading.


  1. Never thought of cooking eggs shells, will do so from now on.
    I grow a lot of beans, Jacobs Cattle are my favourite; I harvested 14lbs last year. I am going to plant some gooseberry bushes this spring.
    We are plagued with Japenese beetle and as I won t use Sevin or anything else that is toxic to birds I have given up on raspberries and blueberries.
    I do plant a raised bed of zinnias and mix nigella in with them so they dont get flattened when our huge storms roll in. Makes a nice cutting garden. I try and direct seed as much as possible. I start my tomatoes on 1st April and plant them out on 15th May or thereabouts.
    I keep all my seed in the freezer.
    We are expecting another snow storm tomorrow so all I can do is plan.

    1. Had to Google Jacobs Cattle Beans. They look a lot like Borlotti, which I grow for drying. Is that how you use them ? Hope the snow storm isn't too bad, we are hoping to be free of snow from now on.. fingers crossed!

  2. wow look at all that snow!
    Good tip about the eggshells, I shall remember that - my garden is chockablock with snails.