We are smack in the middle of pumpkin season and you know what that means. In a few short weeks, we will be wondering “What the heck do we do with these big orange things?”
Throwing your pumpkin away may be the easy way out, however, you have multiple other options that could help pumpkin season be more meaningful and worth caring about.
Below are a few methods to repurpose your pumpkins. Some may not be applicable depending on the use or condition. Most of these ways are engaging and fun! Get the kids involved to get the job done.
Keep & Roast the Seeds
For those of you planning to carve pumpkins this weekend with the kids, have you ever considered salvaging the seeds? It’s a fun job for little hands to pick through the pumpkin muck, sorting out the slimy seeds! Once they’ve been separated, they can be rinsed with water, spread out on a baking sheet, and baked into a tasty treat. **Add a little olive oil, salt, and honey on top. You’ve got an activity and a snack all in one.
Bake or Puree
Pumpkins make for great decor during the fall holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, or one of the parties in between. This method is best for pumpkins with lighter wear and tear. The pumpkins that haven’t been cut open and exposed to the elements in the air. These are the pumpkins that lived as fancy centerpieces. Pumpkin bread and pumpkin purée are magical things. Where do you think your grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie recipe came from? She butchered up that pumpkin that once sat next to the little scarecrow on your dining room table.
If you don’t know, now you know about Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
Composting can be best described as giving decomposable matter back to the earth. Composting pumpkins may be the easiest method other than throwing them away. Simply give the pumpkin back to the soil. You don’t need to understand the denitrification process or have an agitated bed. Digging a hole in the backyard or dividing the pumpkin into smaller pieces, dispersed over a flower bed, would work just as well. Pumpkins are a healthy snack for the birds, and the critters in the garden will help decompose the pumpkin faster than it would be continuing to sit on the porch.
Feed the Farm Animals
Farm animals such as pigs and chickens are big fans of pumpkins. With a quick Google search or Facebook post, you will find that there are wildlife rescues, local farms, and people interested in getting your used pumpkins from you! With Halloween around the corner and carved pumpkins on the porch, check out the local rescues or farms in your area to see if they are in need of your recyclable decor.
Pumpkins As Planters
Using your pumpkin as a planter works best when they’ve been recently carved or used as a centerpiece. You can place a container inside, or use the pumpkin as the container itself. Place the soil and plant of choice inside, and voila! A recycled pumpkin planter. Pumpkins will not outlast your typical terracotta pot or plastic planter, so be prepared for the replacement of your plant once the pumpkin begins to decompose.
Enjoy this list of ideas, and get your pumpkin to work!
Local Pulse Staff Writer & Recycle Queen, Makenna Curtis