After Halloween, our carved pumpkins are looking pretty sad. I am one that thinks of Thanksgiving as a Fall holiday, so I'm not one to put out Christmas decor until after, but our carved pumpkins simply don't last that long.
-Feed the wildlife. A pumpkin that you would otherwise throw away, could be a treat for animals in nature. Depending where you live, left over pumpkins (carved or not, and left over seeds) can be a perfect snack for deer and birds. If you have chickens, you can also toss the pumpkins to them. Simply cut the pumpkin shell into several pieces and toss them out away from your house for deer or birds to nibble on. You might also place unwanted pumpkin seeds in a bird feeder and hang from a tree for the birds to enjoy. Be sure to not feed any moldy pumpkins.
-You could also make the pumpkin shell be the bird feeder itself by cutting it in half and filling with bird seed.
-Add to your compost pile. Cut the pumpkin up into several pieces and place in your compost pile to breakdown. Don't have a compost pile? Simply cut the pumpkin in small pieces and scatter it in your garden. It will breakdown and add nutrients to the soil.
If you don't have any carved pumpkins at your home, you might be looking for ideas to do something your uncarved pumpkins. There are a variety of food options you can do. Do not use your carved pumpkin for food choices. After a pumpkin is carved and sitting out, it is unsafe to eat.
The following are ideas for UNCARVED PUMPKINS:
-Make a pumpkin planter. Great use for a carved or uncarved pumpkin. Stop by the garden shop and pick up some flowers. Maybe some pansies, a mum, or ornamental kale (cool crop flowers here in Indiana).You can cut the top off your pumpkin and plant flowers in the top to make a planter. Later you can plant the whole pumpkin in the ground. The pumpkin will break down, and your flowers will continue to grow in fertilized soil.
-Make pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree is super easy to do and a great way to use the fleshy insides of the pumpkin. Scoop out all the seeds and guts and set them aside for another use. Cut your pumpkin in half and place it upside down in a baking dish with about a cup of water. Bake the pumpkin for about an hour or until the fleshy insides are tender. Scoop out the tender flesh and puree it in a food processor. You will now have pumpkin puree for all your favorite pumpkin recipes. You can also store it in the freezer for several months.
-Roasted pumpkin seeds. What a great way to use the seeds of the pumpkin by roasting them. There are so many recipes and you can season them to your liking.
-Dry the pumpkin seeds and save for next year. You might want to try growing your own pumpkins next season. Clean the pumpkin seeds off and let them dry. Place them in a storage container or bag and plan them next year in your garden and grow your own pumpkins.
-Have some fun with your pumpkins! If you don't particularly want to do anything else with your pumpkins, why not have some fun with it! Have you heard of pumpkin chuckin' with a catapult? Make your own catapult or sling shot, and see how far your pumpkin will fly through the air. Or simply see how far you can throw the pumpkin.
What will you decide to do with your left over pumpkins? Hope you can enjoy one or a few of these options instead of just letting them rot away.