Halloween is almost here and pumpkins everywhere are waiting to make their way to homes, stoops, and porches. What to do with them after the carving and decorating is done? Here are 5 fun ways to use carved pumpkins after Halloween is over…
1. Pumpkin Bird Feeder. What better way to use a good chunk of pumpkin than to feed the neighborhood birds? There are several ways to make a bird feeder depending on how you carve your pumpkin.
If the bottom, top, or side is left as a bowl or curved shape it is quite easy! Just cut the piece away from the rest of the pumpkin to form the bowl. If it is large enough you can cut small holes on each side to form handles to tie twine and hang. If not, use two lengths of twine and attach to the bottom where they crisscross and hang. Fill with birdseed (including any leftover pumpkin seeds) and wait for the neighborhood critters to come enjoy!
2. Pumpkin Planter. Choose a nice fall plant you’d like to transplant or buy from a local nursery (look for one that does not treat with neonicotinoids) as you won’t have time to grow much from seed. Fill your pumpkin with your plant and fill in with organic potting soil.
Your pumpkin does need drainage, but works best when your jack-o’-lantern’s face is not so large it loses much soil. It would be ideal for a painted or etched pumpkin too (add small drainage hole(s) at the bottom)!
3. Pumpkin Guts Stock. Every wondered what you could use those super slimy pumpkin guts for? Wonder no more. Use those guts to make a flavorful vegetable stock and reduce food waste!
Take all the pumpkin guts and place them in a stock pot full of water. Throw in any other veggie parts you might have, like carrot and celery tops, plus a whole chopped onion and up to 2tbsp of olive oil (optional). Boil for 30 minutes or so (or until it starts to change color), then strain all the veggie pieces out. You have just made yourself some delicious Pumpkin Guts Stock!
Use it in any soup or freeze for later!
4. Pumpkin Compost. – Once it starts to get rotten, just bury the whole thing in your backyard as a soil amendment. Either bury it whole in or break it up into smaller pieces. If there are any seeds left, you might have some volunteers next year. It is also easy to toss into your backyard compost as a green layer!
5. Pumpkin Catapult or Batting Practice. If you have little people in your home who love to build take this chance to create your very own catapult! When those pumpkins start to go, the entire family will have a blast watching them go splat. Then toss the results into the compost (see #4).
Alternatively if you have any budding baseball/softball players in the house that won’t mind getting splattered a bit, work on their hard hits straight at an incoming pumpkin.
Note: I highly recommend some serious supervision with this idea if you have kids giving either a try. But won’t you be the coolest parent ever?!? ;)
So tell me:
- Do any of these ideas strike your fancy?
- Do you have any other ideas to share?
- Have you carved pumpkins yet?