Yesterday we talked about candy. Today, we are going to talk about another fall favorite...Pumpkins! These gorgeous gourds are a staple for fall. They look great as fall decorations, and spooky when carved and lit up for Halloween. According to Finder.com, the cost of pumpkins is around $5.40 this year. That's up about 12% from last year. Americans are projected to be spend approximately $804 million on pumpkins in 2022. That's a lot of green for all those orange beauties!

The question is, what do you do with them after Halloween? Throwing them is the easiest way to get rid of them. I would like to suggest a few other ways to dispose of them, and do some good in the process.

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pumpkin seeds

Make A Meal

When carving your pumpkin, be sure save the bits that are cut off and use them to make a nice pie or some pumpkin bread. Seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack, on their own, or tossed into a salad for something different. NOTE: This is not recommended for a carved pumpkin, especially one that's been sitting out for a few days. That's because they can become contaminated with pathogens, making the pumpkin unsafe to eat.

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Donate It

As long as they are not painted, and If donations are allowed, pumpkins can be given to a local farm or zoo for the animals to enjoy. This would be a nice treat for elephants, bears, turtles, hippos, monkeys and porcupines. Pumpkins can also be donated to several local animal shelters. Once you've located a location, make sure they are is receiving donations by contacting them directly or checking their website.

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smashed pumpkin

Compost It

Composting works well with pumpkins. Just remove the candles and clean off any paint or wax before putting it in the trash. It will decay more quickly if it is chopped or smashed. You can bury the pumpkin in your garden if you don't compost. It will break down quickly and give the soil much needed nutrients.

Photo by Karen Linehan in Boston, MA/https://feederwatch.org
Photo by Karen Linehan in Boston, MA/https://feederwatch.org
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birds eating seeds from pumpkin

Feed The Birds

Animals will consume the leftover flesh and many birds will devour the pumpkin seeds. You can leave pumpkin chunks in your backyard or break them into little pieces and put seeds in a bird feeder. Additionally, you might want to think about transporting some to a forested location and scattering some pieces there for animals to find.

Eat It!

Believe it or not, you can make pumpkin fries and pumpkin skin chips! All you have to do is peel off the pumpkin skin and crisp them up in a dehydrator. You can flavor as you like, but a recipe I found suggested a sprinkling of paprika and sea salt. Not sure if I will be the first in my family to make this, but I certainly would try it if they mysteriously showed up! Click here for instructions to make this unique treat! 

 

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