Did you know that, in the UK alone, 12.8 million pumpkins are expected to be left uneaten this Halloween?
That scary fact comes from Hubbub UK who are offering plenty of exciting ways to save them from going to landfill as part of their ongoing Pumpkin Rescue campaign.
For such an amazingly tasty and beautiful fruit (that is also the largest on the planet), this king of the fruit and veg world should be appreciated so much more than just hollowing them out and throwing them away. After all, throwing them away for them to go to landfill only adds to the harmful greenhouse gases being emitted from landfill sites that are having devastating global impacts in the form of climate change.
Three simple ideas for what we can do with pumpkins
Smashing (& composting) pumpkins
Pumpkins are full of nutrients that are good for the soil so it makes sense to compost them. Once you’ve removed any decorations, smash or cut up the pumpkin into smaller pieces and drop it into your compost bin (or bury it in your garden) for it to breakdown naturally. If you don’t have a garden to compost in, put your smashed up pumpkin into your council food waste bin for collection.
Some community gardens and allotments may thank you for dropping off your old pumpkins to add to their compost waste too. Contact your local site to check.
Feed your pumpkin to wildlife
It’s not just humans that find pumpkins delicious. Some animals do too. Foxes, badgers and squirrels will feast on it, and blackbirds, robins and other birds find it a tasty snack too, especially as more insects get nibbling on it.
Cut up your pumpkin into chunks to make them easier to snack on for passing wildlife. It’s best not to leave your pumpkin on the ground to avoid hedgehogs getting sick from eating them though. And once it starts to get mouldy it’s time to throw it on the compost heap.
Have a go at making a pumpkin bird feeder as a craft project to try out.
Some birds love to sit and perch, whilst others like to hang off perches to eat.
The hanging basket effect of this pumpkin feeder from Simple Things has something for all of them!
See the Simple Things step-by-step guide to creating it by clicking the image below.
Roast your pumpkin seeds for you or your feathered friends
Birds love pumpkins seeds as much as we do. Save them from your carving, then separate them as shown in the RSPB video below before drying them out and roasting them in the oven at 180C for about 20 – 30 minutes.
They can be added to your bird feeder when cooled. Or you can always add some natural flavour (like salt or chilli flakes) when they’re roasting and keep them for yourself in an airtight container to nibble on as a tasty snack with a drink sometime.
Eat and drink your pumpkins
There are so many delicious recipes for eating and drinking pumpkin. Here are just a few we liked the sound of, for you to link to:
Savoury pumpkin recipes:
Send a photo of your carved and cooked pumpkin to Hubbub UK to be in with a chance of winning one of two sets of stunning pumpkin-esque Le Crueset cast iron dishes, and a selection of Toast Ale (made from rescued bread!)
To enter, email photos of your pumpkin, cooked and carved to [email protected] before 12pm on 31st October 2020.