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Crustacean Meal soil benefits.

Crab,shrimp,lobster and even crayfish all may be on the menu at your local seafood restaurant. But as soon as they are consumed they are quickly discarded and shipped to your local landfill by the truckloads.

What if we can help lighten that load and improve our soil in our home gardens and grow nutrient dense foods to help improve our health at the same time? Not only is it a win win situation for both your soil and you. But it also benefits the restaurants waste service bill and cuts down on carbon emissions and saves you money on garden amendments.


Crustacean shells contain calcium carbonate,chitin and protein. When added to your soil it stimulates and increases bacteria and fungi that breakdown the chitin in to chitinase. Some studies have shown that this process helps deal with and keep out the threat of root knot nematodes. And of course with the addition of calcium that helps the the plant uptake other minerals and nutrients. Calcium in our opinion is just as important as the big three..nitrogen,phosphorus and potassium.

Another form of calcium that takes longer to breakdown is oyster and claim shells that can also be acquired from your local seafood restaurant.

To break these down to usable form it will require a little elbow grease and ingenuity. If you have welding skills or know a welder, a mortar pestle fabricated from a pipe and steel rod with a steel plate will work.

Preparation of the shells depends on the source. If collecting from a restaurant the shells should be brought to a rolling boil to remove any cooking oils,butters or seasonings.

Then the shells can be sun dried or lightly roasted in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour or two.

Once the shells are dried they can be crushed or pulverized in a blender and added to your soil. Premix it in your soil before planting or scratch it into the soil surface in your garden.

Note: Once you make an agreement with a local restaurant to pick up their waste you must supply buckets and lids for them to throw the shells in. Most will have no problem with this. But you must pick up the buckets when you say you will upon the agreed time. No kitchen manager will put up with your buckets piling up.

We hope you consider these useful tips when building your next batch of soil and garden beds. Gardening does not have to be expensive. Remember soil health is wealth..it all starts right under our feet.

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