Got Leftover (rotting) Pumpkins? Now What?
Americans reportedly spend 100 million dollars a year on pumpkins to carve into Jack-0-lanterns. That’s a lot of pumpkins. What happens to all those round orange globes after their one night of fame? Most of them sit and rot on the porch or fence post or front steps….until someone finally scrapes them into the garbage (after they’re a hairy, moldy mess).
But there’s a better way! Lots of them, actually! Put all that orange goodness to good use, even after the holiday decorations come down.
10 Ways to Recycle Your Jack-o-Lantern
1. Eat it. Of course in order to do this, the jack-o-lantern display shouldn’t last too long. Carve the pumpkin right before setting it out, and then only leave it out for a short time before bringing it in and making it into puree. There are hundreds of wonderful pumpkin recipes. If you need some inspiration, here’s 20 great pumpkin recipes. Admittedly, it also works better if you’re using a pumpkin that’s made for eating, which is a whole different variety than what most people carve…
2. Compost it. Throw it in your compost pile to turn into a rich treat for your garden next summer.
3. Plant it. An alternative to the compost pile is to bury it in your garden this fall and let it sweeten your soil over the winter.
4. Save the seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a tasty, nutritious snack, but even if you’re not into them you can still save the seeds to plant them next year. Or, help your kids start a ‘seed company’ with the seeds you save.
5. Feed It to Wildlife. There are many critters out there that would appreciate the fall treat. Take it with you on a family outing and share it with the great outdoors.
6. Donate it. A local farmer would appreciate your gift, as would his livestock.
7. Learn from it. Use it to teach your children to love science. Weigh it, see if it floats, add feathers to it and turn it into a turkey, etc.
8. Play with it. Use it as a pinata for a party. Try lawn bowling with it.
9. Draw it. Use it as part of a still life display and draw or paint it.
10. Feed it to the chickens. This is the popular vote around here. Feed it to your backyard flock of chickens. They will love you for it.
There might be even more fantastic ways to recycle your jack-o-lantern this year. What do YOU do with yours?
PS If you’d like a chicken template to use to carve your jack-o-lantern, here’s one you can download. ENJOY!