See something that looks familiar here? Perhaps you saw it first over at Family Home and Life, my other blog.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

DIY Fertilizer

I have a new idea, a new experiment of sorts. Well new to me anyway - making my own fertilizer, at least my own bone meal. I have always been interested in being self sufficient and one of the best ways to do that is to use what you already have and not run to the store to buy something. I really don't like having to buy fertilizers and I have been thinking of ways to make my own.

This last year I have been on a quest to better my health and one way I have done that is by eating better. I went on the AIP diet for 5 months and it work great for me. While on this diet I ate a lot of organic chicken (still do), cooked whole bird in a crock pot. I cooked it long and slow all day. The meat was removed from the bone and the bones added back to the broth for another long slow cook. I needed the bone broth to help heal me. At the end of this long cook the bones would be soft and easily crumble. I had a thought......this could be bone meal for the garden! Something usable from something I throw away. I did a quick Google search and found someone else who was making their own bone meal so I decided to give it a try. 

I started saving all the chicken bones from my broth. I would throw them into a big ziplock bag in the freezer to save for a day when I felt like cleaning every last bit of meat off of them. Well I kept putting off that day! It would be slow tedious work! One day out at my compost pile I noticed a lot of busy ants. I wondered if they would like the job of cleaning my bones for me. I took the bones out of the freezer and poured them at the corner of the compost pile. A few days later I checked on my bones and they were clean as could be! 

Now I realized this is a rather unconventional way of doing things but it worked very well with almost no effort! I don't have to worry about dogs or animals getting to the bones while the ants are working so I am very happy with my method. 

All that's needed after the ants clean them up is to smash the bones up with a hammer. I placed them in an old kitchen towel and smashed away. I could have continued a bit longer but I think they will be fine like this. Now all I need to do is add them to my garden. Easy enough and cost me nothing.  

I'm sure there are other ways to smash or grind the bones but the hammer worked well for me. I will keep an open mind about it in case another better way turns up. I would like to be able to use all the meat bones, larger beef and pork bones I throw out, but right now I have no idea how I would grind the large ones up. I suppose they could be place whole in the garden to slowly break down.

What do you think, any ideas here? Have you used bones in the garden? Do you create your own fertilizers? 

Copyright © 2015 by Hill House Homestead ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


  1. Holy cow - what a great idea!! I have also seen where people bury fish bones, crab carcasses and such. I believe this should work well. I like your idea of letting the ants clean the bones - clever!

  2. Totally impressed - and happily chuckling! - at how you let the ants do your work! I hope this turns out to be effective for you. I have never made a fertilizer myself.

  3. Using the ants to clean the bones is genius! My husband and I just moved to homeownership from apartment life and are diving into gardening and the like. We're planning on starting composting soon and are currently figuring out which method will be best for us. I'm definitely gonna keep the bones for fertilizer plan in mind for the future.

  4. What a great way to fertilize your garden naturally. Pinned and sharing.

  5. Great post! Pinned and tweeted. Thanks for stopping by and partying with us! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we can pin and tweet your masterpieces! Lou Lou Girls

  6. I dig a pit in my garden and just dump in the bones and cover them. They'll break down over a long period of time, but that's fine. All it means is that each pit I dig is providing years of fertilizer! I've never had issues with bugs or animals digging it up.

  7. Well, that's just a great idea! I think my hubby will think I've lost my mind if I start saving chicken bones. lol! I already save any bones from our beef and give them to my friends dog. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. This fantastic post is being featured on my blog today as part of Tuesdays with a Twist blog hop:

  9. Well that is smart! I love it! PLease share with us again next month over at Country Fair Blog Party, I can't wait to see what else you are up to.

  10. Connie I add a bunch of stuff to a pitcher on the back porch, and then later on to another container in the back yard to make compost :)


Gosh I love to read your comments! Thanks for leaving one :)