A Pumpkin is always on our shopping list when Halloween creeps near. However, we waste so many Pumpkins by throwing them away instead of re-using them. Place the pumpkin pieces in the bin. Alternatively, why not recycle!
1. Eat it
Pumpkin is full of great nutrients and it would be a waste if all we did with it was cut out a face and put a candle in it.
- Roast pumpkin seeds – when you are removing the insides of a pumpkin, there are some treasures to be found. Pumpkin seeds are not something to be thrown away. Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc and, when roasted, make a wonderful snack.
- Pumpkin puree is great for a whole array of dishes and drinks. Simply cut the pumpkin in half, roast and scoop out the insides and blend. Perfect in protein shakes, making your own pumpkin spiced latte, pumpkin pie or soup.
2. Feed the animals
- If your pumpkin is too far gone for you to eat, why not let the wildlife have its fill. Many birds, small mammals and herbivores will love this treat especially when there is scarce food for them at the moment. Zoos, farms, animal rescue centres and other places that house animals can use your discarded jack-o-lanterns to create nutritional and enriching treats for their animals. Just contact them beforehand and see if they are accepting donations.
- Create your own hanging bird feeder. A pumpkin will create a great eatable bowl for birdseed. Simple cut your old jack-o-lantern in half, create some holes and tie some string to it and fill it with seed. Hang it from a tree or bird feeder and see all the birds flock in to try your handy work.
3. Compost the Pumpkin
If your pumpkin is way past its best that even the animals won’t have it, compost it! It’s a great way to add nutrients to your garden.
Without a compost bin
- Smash the pumpkin into pieces or use a spade to chop it up.
- Find a shady spot in your garden and dig a hole big enough to fit the pieces.
- Place the pieces into the hole and cover it with soil. Nature will take over and rot it down nicely, fertilising the soil.
With a compost bin
- Smash up the pumpkin or use a spade to chop it up.
- Place the pieces in the bin.
- The pumpkin has a high-water content so you will need to balance this out with some dry materials. Leaves are great and might be plentiful, but if you are without leaves you can substitute with cardboard, egg boxes or scrunched up newspaper.
- Let nature do its work and rot it down to some great home compost to be used in the spring.
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