Just because Halloween is over it doesn’t have to mean the end of your pumpkin. There are several ways to repurpose a pumpkin, depending on the variety and its current condition. Your October holiday gourd can still find a spot in November’s holiday festivities, or maybe it will regenerate as a beauty product or return to its natural habitat. The following are just a few ways to extend the usefulness of your Halloween pumpkin.
Repurposing Your Pumpkin for Use Indoors
One easy way to repurpose a pumpkin is to use it for cooking. Most pumpkins found at your local pumpkin patch are Howden pumpkins. This variety is bred for color and size suited for Halloween decorating and Jack-o-lantern carving, and the stem makes the perfect handle. Although edible, they are not as tasty as the denser varieties such as Lumina, Hubbard, Long Island Cheese, or Cinderella pumpkins.
Uncarved Howden pumpkins or other pie pumpkin varieties can be scooped, pureed, and spiced up for pies, breads, and soups. Pumpkin is a great option for making vegetable stock. You can clean, season, and roast the seeds for a delicious snack option.
You can even mix pumpkin puree with a bit of honey and coconut oil to make a soothing facial after you spend all day baking those pies and breads.
Pumpkins can also be incorporated into your indoor fall décor. Most pumpkins will last 30 to 90 days after picking if they are uncarved and given the proper care. You can use colorful heirloom varieties such as Cinderella and Casper to complement your fall decorating. Petite Hooligan pumpkins make perfect place-card holders for your Thanksgiving table.
Repurposing Your Pumpkin for Outdoor Use
There are several ways to extend the life of your Halloween pumpkins outside your home. You can clean out your pumpkin, fill it with soil, and use it for an outdoor planter. Fill your pumpkin planter with ornamental kale, bright pepper plants, and some fountain grass for height. You can enjoy the colors of fall on your front porch or patio throughout November.
Cleaned out pumpkins make great bird feeders. After scooping out the pumpkin, rinse and dry. Seeds can be roasted or left for the birds. Cut the pumpkins in half, and fill with birdseed. Either set it on the ground or use a sturdy rope to hang it in a tree.
Many other species of wildlife enjoy pumpkin. Deer, rabbits, and squirrels will also appreciate leftover pumpkins that are quartered and left out for them to enjoy. Make sure the pumpkins do not have paint on them or other toxic additions to the outer skin. If you have a farm or animal shelter nearby, consider donating your pumpkin there.
Pumpkins make great compost material. Use them for your garden, or take them to a local community garden for composting. Remember to remove the seeds to avoid volunteer pumpkin plants in the spring.
With all these different ways to extend the life of your Halloween pumpkins, you might want to have a few extra on hand this year. Fall is short-lived; make the most of it.
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