Composting - pumpkinWhen Halloween is over and before you toss that pumpkin, consider the alternatives. You could turn it into a tasty treat that your family will love or you could make it into fertilizer by composting it. Either way it’s easy and you will reduce the waste that ends up in the landfill! We have made some suggestions here, but if you have other creative ways to use your post-Halloween pumpkin, please let us know and we will share them with others.

Cook it

Just steam or bake the pumpkin and remove the rind. At this point, you can cut it into cubes and freeze it for later use. Or you can put the pulp through a food processor or just mash it with a potato masher. Now you are ready to make muffins, pies, pumpkin loaf, cheesecake — whatever you like.

Note that some pumpkin varieties are more for decoration than for food. But most larger pumpkins you buy at a store can be steamed, boiled or even baked like squash. Here’s a website with more information on how to process your pumpkin. There are lots of different tasty treats that you can make with pumpkin. Check out this website for 55 different recipes to use up your Hallowe’en pumpkin.

You can also roast the seeds to make a healthy snack. And don’t trash the inner membrane and outer skin, compost those, too. (See next.)

Compost it

If you don’t want to cook your pumpkin or have left it a little too long to use, just break it up into small pieces and add it to your compost bin. Don’t have a compost bin, or don’t know how to get started? Green Action Centre has the answers. Fall is a perfect time to start composting with all those leaves you’ve raked up from your yard.

Give it away!

A rind is a terrible thing to waste! If you have an orphan pumpkin, why not give it to a family member, friend, or neighbour who you know could use it. If no one you know wants it you might be able add it to a compost bin at one of the many community gardens around the city. Many of these gardens have composting facilities and would love to have your pumpkin. If you live close to the inner city of Winnipeg, both Spence Neighbourhood Association and West Broadway Development Corporation have numerous composting sites. For a list click here.