I thought I’d re-post this project I worked on last year for Earth Day, since it is still so fitting in many ways.

1. I am in the midst of planting my seeds for the garden this summer, and this is such a wonderful alternative to spending money on peat pots while making good use of your egg shells.

2. Earth Day is coming up on April 24th.

3. I’m submitting yet another book manuscript in a few weeks and feel the exact same way as I did last year at this time. Oh, my, time to break the pattern.



Grandma P. and I had a recent exchange via Gmail, as we are prone to do. We like to talk about projects. And radio programs. She tells me what Arthur Schwartz and Joan Hamburg are up to in New York and I tell her what the latest title of my book is. She has much more to offer to the conversation usually, I go into a tunnel when I’m working on something and it’s hard to smoke me out.

We like to conspire and collaborate on various bi-coastal projects. And then we compare results. “Maybe the moist Berkeley air helped my pudding become fluffier than hers…or maybe the sound of Lorenzo crowing at 2 a.m. gave her pudding that extra tang…”

It goes like that.

The recent topic was Earth Day.

Grandma Pellegrini: I have succeeded in stirring up interest in Earth Day at church; now I’m looking for lots of thoughts and good ideas. It looks like I’ll have to come up with all that part of it myself. Maybe you could find out how your readers feel about it. Are they interested? Enthusiastic? Actively involved?

Me: I was thinking of doing “Egglings” for Earth Day… using the shells to plant seedlings… for my herbs. Ever done it? What day is earth day? Where am I? What is the meaning of life?

Grandma P.: I like your Egglings idea. I’ll start some now so we’ll have some to show… Earth Day is April 22, a Thursday. It would be nice to get all your crowd thinking about it ahead of time so they can actually make a contribution.


Notice how she didn’t even ask for specifics on the Egglings? She just knew what to do. That’s what makes her cool.

Here is how you make Egglings:

1. Eat lots of eggs for breakfast and try to tap the shells higher up on the egg so you’re left with a deep cup. The prick holes in the bottom so they have drainage.

2. Give them a rinse and let them dry in the sun.

3. Choose your seeds. I went a little crazy. I’ll need 5 more cartons of eggs for this. Grandma P. is lucky because she lives next to the chicken coop at Tulipwood.

4. I think I fell for the little cut-out in the back that offered to help you label your plantings. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging.

5. Then you fill each egg cup with dirt, about 3/4 of the way up.

6. Get the soil a little damp.

These Kodak glasses have really come in handy. Thanks dad. If you’re reading. Though you’re probably not. You’re probably talking to the chickens right now or spraying your rhododendrons with deer pee.

7. I started with basil. Because I want basil as soon as humanly possible. I want basil urgently. Me and basil have a date at the blender at Mother Nature’s earliest possible convenience.

8. And after you tuck them into the dirt, and add a few more droplets of water, you set them in the sun. And wait. Something I don’t like to do.

This is how far along I am.

Look at this compared to Grandma’s Egglings…

Girl’s got a green thumb.

Grandma: How are your ‘egglings’? Tomorrow’s Earth Day. My ‘egglings’ are really cute; getting leggy so I must plant them soon… I guess they could be planted still in the shell (cracked) for more nurishent?

Me: Mine? They’re uhhh… er…goood…leggy, yeah… that.

We’re going to crack the shells and put the whole thing into the ground. We’ll let you know how it turns out. And I’m going to pretend that mine aren’t as tall because I planted basil and she planted brussel sprouts and parsley. That’s how I shall manage my ego.

This picture makes me nostalgic.

So does this one.

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And this one.

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Because Grandma P. has the best kitchen.


What are you doing for Earth Day? Grandma P. wants to know.