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Eggshells

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Eggshells. Strong protective miracle substance. I often find them uncomposted, in my compost. I know it’s possible to throw them in with bones — chicken bones, meat bones, fish bones — and a little lemon juice or vinegar, as in bone broth, and get all those good minerals, especially the calcium, for your soup.

But I have these new raised beds, and they are filled with leaf mould, and general kitchen compost, and I know from my gardening class that soil is wonderful when rich in organic matter but also needs minerals. That is the basis of earth.  I like the idea that as much comes in a closed loop as possible, so calcium from used egg shells seems great. My instructor Emma told me a tip: save them until you turn on the oven for some other reason, then bake them, so to easily crush them, then add those pulverised shells to your soil. Of course they are also useful to deter slugs.

Was it nearly twenty years ago that I spent some time making these mosaics with eggshells? They are giant collages that speak of an unfolding process, the being in the making, an endlessness (there is no possibility of “end,” — there can always be more) and journey. I was interested even then in using the “waste” from my kitchen, and eggs were so rich a metaphor for fecundity, and fertility, as I wished for then, yet shells nonethess delicate, and crack-able.  Each application of a new piece was both a breaking and a remaking, and an attempt at repair and healing.

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