Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Make Bone Meal from Turkey Bones

The soil in my yard is so bad it makes me sing the Condo Blues. The builder sold the lovely topsoil that should be surrounding my house before they built the neighborhood.

The thing is, they didn’t put it back after building our condo. We are stuck with thick clay soil that kills almost everything I try to grow in it.

Cue up the blues. Whoomp. whoomp. Sad trombone.

We added compost and new top soil to the front yard. Our soil can use some bone meal too. Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorous and helps plants grow a healthy root system.

 This also keeps poultry bones from stinking up the kitchen trash. 


One evening while I was cleaning up from dinner, Husband and I marveled at how little we had to throw away from the turkey after getting several meals and meals to be from it. I thought it was a shame we can’t do anything more with the turkey bones after using them to make crockpot turkey stock (learn how here.) hmmm…

After some quality time with my friend Google, I got the kooky idea to try to make bone meal from leftover turkey bones for our garden.

And it worked!

How to Make Bone Meal for Your Garden


DIYbonemeal

You will need:

Leftover bones. I’m using turkey bones. Bones from other poultry and other cuts of meat will work although you could have a harder time grinding thick bones into bone meal.

Oven, grill, or dehydrator

Hammer and old towel/bag (optional)

Blender or food processor

Make it:

1. Cook and clean all the meat off the bones. The easiest way to do that is to make crockpot stock because what ever bits of meat are left on the bones slides right off when the stock is ready. However, if you want to rinse and scrape meat bits off your bones, don’t let my stock making mania stop you from doing it that way.

2. Dry the bones. There are several methods you can use to dry the marrow in the bones. I put mine in my  dehydrator to 160 degrees (F ) for 8 – 12 hours. Some folks dry the bones on an outdoor grill with the lid closed or pop them in the oven after they remove a roast and turn off the heat so the bones dry while the oven cools down. As long as the bones and marrow are complete dried, use whatever method works for you.

3. Break the bones down into smaller chunks by wrapping them in an old towel and hitting them with a hammer if needed. The longer leg bones wouldn’t fit in my blender until I broke them into smaller bits. During a later batch, I used a mason jar on my blender to grind a long leg bone and it shattered the mason jar!  I recommend grinding smaller size bones in smaller batches in your blender or food processor to avoid this.

4. Grind the bones in the blender until they are meal. I use the ice crush setting on my blender or manually pulse it. The bone meal will not be the pretty bleached white of the bone meal you buy at that garden store but it will work just as well.


grindbonesintobonemeal
I use a quart mason jar on my blender because I keep forgetting to order a replacement pitcher - three years running!

5. Add your homemade bone meal it to the soil and mix it up!


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