While setting up my “Eggling Experience” I thought it would fall more into the spirit of the much loved but long forgotten “The Lab” section of this site if I were to make this into an Eggling versus Real Egg experiment. I made the claim in my introductory post that an Eggling could be closely approximated for free using the shell of a real egg, and so I present to you a wholly unscientific experiment in which I will attempt to back that claim up with anecdotal evidence.
I haven’t done this since high school so bear with me.
A real egg is just as effective as an Eggling ceramic egg when used as a vessel for growing thyme from seed.
1. Set up an Eggling according to the supplied directions.*
2. Hard boil a large chicken egg. You can use a raw egg and just plop out the contents but I felt like eating a boiled egg.
3. Peel off a section from the top and scoop out the contents.
4. Remove a section from the bottom so that the egg sits flat.
5. Cut a small square of coffee filter and place in the bottom of the egg to cover the hole. This will keep the dirt from falling out.
6. Fill the egg with sterile seed-starting mix and a dash of vermicompost (aka worm poo). I was out of potting soil and too involved in the scientific process to go out for some, so I cheated and used soil from another pot. The soil wasn’t sterile but… I added worm castings in an attempt to approximate the Eggling growing medium which is said (in the instructions) to include, “…enough nutrients for plants to grow in it for up to 5 months.”
7. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil. I used the extra seeds that came with the Eggling kit in an attempt to keep the projects as similar as possible (okay maybe no “as possible.” More like, as possible as I can be bothered without making a special trip to the store for additional supplies).
8. Water the egg slowly until water begins to drain into the tray from the bottom. I followed the directions outlined by the Eggling so that they followed the same routine.
9. Place both Eggling and Real Egg in a warm place to germinate. Mine are sat on top of the television awaiting germination.
*The supplied directions were seriously lacking in direction. When setting this up I tried to think like a beginner and I will say that as a fake beginner the lack of instructions left me feeling anxious as to whether I was doing the right thing. Did I make the hole big enough? How long will it take to germinate? How do I care for the plant once it has germinated? How do I prune? How do I transplant it? What happens next? p.s. In step #4 of the instruction pamphlet it is suggested that you shatter the Eggling and add the pieces to the soil of the transplanted plant “as fertilizer.” Dudes, last time I checked ceramic did not qualify as “fertilizer.”
p.s. NaBloPoMo is HARD.
I’ve started a new contest on the site. The prizes are copies of Tsia Carson’s book, “Craftivity.” I tend to make contests that are simple to enter but thought it would be fun to do one that is more interactive. I love to see the inventive things you are doing in your gardens. I also think it’s important in a gardening media that is saturated with images of pricey, hyper-perfect gardens to get as many images of gardens by you and me out into the world as possible. Your little pot of basil set on the stoop is just as valid as anything seen in the glossy pages of a magazine.
So in the spirit of Tsia’s book I thought it would be inspiring to see how you are making use of former tin cans, plastic bottles, and other items from the roadside economy in your gardening practice. And to get the ball rolling I’ve tagged a bunch of my own images on Flickr so you can see that we’re not looking for over-the-top submissions here (although those are great) but simple and creative solutions to recycling and reusing.
Visit the contest page for more details and submission details.
Oh man. I don’t know what to make of the level of paranoia we’ve reached about the recent spinach/ecoli outbreak that has compelled Epic Roots, grower and distributor of mache to go this far in disassociating their product from the maligned leafy vegetable. First the pulp news casts featuring headlines asking, “Is organic food a safer choice?” and now this. All the more reason I suppose, to grow your own.
Related: Grow a Crate o’ Mache
I know that this cute little product has made the rounds in the design and gardening world so I know I’m probably not showing you anything new. I have been resisting the charm of the Eggling since I first heard of them because I generally do not support this kind of product no matter how cute. My reasons for blacklisting such products are simple: they aren’t appropriate vessels for growing healthy plants and as a thrifty gardener I am inherently against promoting excessive gardening product purchases. I mean, why buy a fancy porcelain egg meant to look like a real egg when you can just use a real egg — at no additional charge! Gardening for the first time can be a bit daunting. I am all about reducing some of that pressure in any way possible. And inevitably the eventual demise of what began as a fun try at growing something leads to the new gardener’s assertion that they just don’t have a green thumb. And so they give up.
So I generally stay away from promoting this kind of product or buying one for myself. Because even though I know how the story will end, I am a designer at heart and I can’t help but be drawn in by pretty things anymore than the next person. So cute! And simple! And pretty!
However, my spouse just came back from a short work trip to Southern California (no jealousy here) and surprised me with a thyme Eggling as a treat. He knew I would never buy one for myself and thought it might make an interesting experiment for the site. He’s heard me talk publicly about gardening enough (and read the book) to know that if anything was going to endure the hardships of such a small space it would be thyme. I’m very proud. Sigh.
I know it’s unfair of me to judge without personal experience so I plan to give this little one a go and will post updates here as they occur. In the meantime I am eager to hear about your experiences with this product. Please add your comments below.
p.s In an effort to light a fire under my ass I’ve elected to participate in NaBloPoMo here on YGG. There are plenty of day-to-day gardening experiences that I could be sharing here but many topics slide and become outdated before I get a chance to write.
This interactive map is a neat online gadget that allows you to locate garden centres and nurseries in your area. I can see the value in something like this when you’re visiting a new area or new in town. I mean, it took me years to dig up a fairly large garden centre within the downtown core of my own city, and while on speaking trips I am often stuck spending hours searching online and through phonebooks. The drawback to this service — other than the fact that it is U.S. only and some of us, cough, are Canadian — is that only addresses and phone numbers are listed. No additional information is available unless the store pays to have that added and we all know from experience that all garden centres are NOT created equal.
Maps that I can see coming in handy while on the road include: biodiesel fuel stations, vegetarian food restaurants, craft shops and thrift shops.