All Hallow’s eve is over. The candy has been passed out, the apples bobbed, and the costumes returned to the closet for next year. But one seasonal signature lingers on. Your friendly (or fierce) Jack O’ Lantern still shimmers nightly on your front porch, though he’s looking a little more slumped with each passing day. What’s the best way to properly dispose of your glowering old friend, however? Certainly he deserves a better end than consignment to the waste bin. Read on for a few constructive (and destructive) for your seedy friend.
As this is the most obvious option, we’ll hit it right out of the gate. Composting your pumpkin can be a great way to ensure it doesn’t end up rotting in the nearest landfill, oxygen-deprived and producing methane. First off, if you’ve burned a candle in your Jack O’ Lantern, try to scrape the wax out, as that will do no good in your compost pile. Then smash your pumpkin into smallish pieces on top of your compost pile, before covering it with a layer of leaves. From here, nature will do the work for you, though you can, of course, turn your pile under as you would usually do, to ensure oxygen gets to everything.
Don’t be alarmed by the subheading, you won’t need to contact your local cemetery for this one. If you have a shovel and a garden gone dormant for the winter, you may want to consider the soil-enriching effects of burying your pumpkin. Chunk it up to speed decomposition, and bury the pieces beneath your garden’s surface. This will lead to a more nutrient-dense environment for your plants and flowers in the spring.
If you’re a hunter, or just an animal-lover in general, you may want to consider the deworming properties of pumpkin seeds on your local wildlife population. In fact, as this mostly goes for the stringy innards of the pumpkin, you can actually do this in tandem with any of the other options on this list (though the animals will certainly eat the meat as well, if you leave it out for them). You see, pumpkin seeds are thought to contain a compound called cucurbitacin, which has been used on domestic livestock for years to expel tapeworms and roundworms. Now unfortunately, there is not quite enough cucurbitacin in there for pumpkin seeds to serve as an active de-wormer. BUT. There is some evidence to support the theory that an increase in pumpkin seeds in the diet will serve to decrease the overall worm population in a herd. So to give your wildlife a boost, some pumpkin seeds may be a good start! You could also start mixing them into your chickens’ diet, with roughly the same effect.
Okay, okay, this may seem out of place on this list, but hear me out! While at first glance it may sound wholly destructive, propping your pumpkins on a fencepost and testing the sights on your old Savage is actually more constructive than simply chucking your pumpkin in the bin. Obviously, it will let you determine if your rifle is hitting Minute-of-Pumpkin, but as an added benefit, the impact will scatter the seeds and meat of the pumpkin around your field or woodland, essentially completing option 3 for you in the process . I don’t know about you, but that certainly sounds like a win-win to me!
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”