They are usually left to rot on porches or disposed of on trash days after the trick-or-treating concludes. But did you know you can reuse your Halloween pumpkins in many other ways?
Before your jack-o'-lantern's face caves in, resembling an old toothless peasant, squash the idea of kicking it to the curb and put your leftover pumpkin to some gourd use.
#1 Make a pie.
Most people know you can roast pumpkin seeds in the oven for a tasty treat. But, believe it or not, your old jack-o'-lantern can actually be baked and turned into a pumpkin pie! (We recommend using it as soon as possible and clearing out any residual drips of candle wax!) Here’s one way to make the classic holiday favorite.
#2 Compost it.
If you are not going to eat it, reuse your jack-o'-lantern for compost to help create a natural, rich fertilizer for your garden. Composting your pumpkin instead of trying to cram it down your garbage disposal or throw it away saves energy and cuts down on the amount of household trash going to the dump (which would make it a ‘dumpkin,’ perhaps?).
#3 Use it for gardening.
And after enriching your soil with Ol’ Jack (see #2, Compost it.), plant the seeds you hopefully hung onto the following May to produce a plethora of prodigious pumpkins. (Producing your own pumpkin patch might be a project worth pulling off – they also have numerous health benefits!)
#4 Use it for games and activities.
Reuse your jack-o'-lantern to play pumpkin putt-putt with the kids, using the carved-out mouth as the hole; ring toss, with the stem as the peg; or as a bowling ball to roll toward a stack of toilet paper leftover from your teen's previous night’s activities. (Duke Energy does NOT condone this type of behavior ;-).) Here are some fresh game and activity ideas.
And for the ones not carved:
Take it from the porch to the perch and make a bird feeder. Slice the pumpkin in half, scoop out the remaining pulp and seeds, poke long wooden skewers into it with strings attached, fill it up with bird seed and hang it outside!
And finally, harness the true power of the pumpkin and make a battery. Pumpkins, like lemons, have natural acidic juices that can help transport the flow of electrical energy. So, technically, Cinderella’s carriage should still have been able to operate even after it turned back into a pumpkin, making the carriage an EPV (electric pumpkin vehicle).
From patch to porch, from vine to rind – no matter how you slice it, carve out some time to think about reusing your pumpkin once Halloween is over.