What to do with your leftover pumpkins

What to do with your leftover pumpkins

Priscila Chavez, Reporter

 

Fall, everyone’s favorite season will soon come to end. With Autumn ending and Winter coming the problem everyone usually has is what are they supposed to do with their old jack-o-lantern-s they spent all their time on. You don’t want to throw it away after how long you spent carving it.

If you’re a pumpkin flavored anything fanatic then you should try to snack on the pumpkin’s seeds by roasting them for an easy healthy snack.

“I think pumpkin spice stuff is very fitting for the whole fall experience and is a classic that comes back every year in all sorts of forms,” said Cynthia Oyervides (‘18).

This recipe could be modified by what ever you are craving. For example pumpkin seeds do not have to be savory like some recipes qualify for. You can just use salt and pepper or chili powder. These could be turned into a sweetened treat for those people who like a sweet tooth by using cinnamon for these crunchy seeds. To see the full recipe click this link: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/toasted_pumpkin_seeds/ .

“I have carved pumpkins before but when I was younger and I later plan to just throw away my pumpkin but my family and I did end up roasting and eating the seeds that were inside,” said Dalila Medina (‘19).

This recipe calls for five to twenty minutes to roast. The first thing you should do is find your pumpkin and cut the top off and start scooping the guts and seeds out with a spoon. After that place the seeds in a bowl and run under some water to rinse and separate the seeds from everything else. Next boil the seeds in two cups of water and a tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Simmer that for ten minutes and remove from the heat and drain the water. Next bake the seeds at 400 degree Fahrenheit for about five to twenty minutes depending on how big or small your seeds are or until they turn golden brown. Before putting them into the oven make sure you spread them out and put a baking sheet under with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Next put them into the oven and bake them.

If you’re not a fan of eating pumpkins but you like how vibrant they are you could still use them as decorations even after Halloween is over. You can use them as planters. Pumpkins make great “pots” and containers to hold your plants and will be sure to last several weeks, just right before fall ends and winter makes it’s way through. To do this buy a large fresh pumpkin, a large container plant to fill your pumpkin and your choice of smaller plants. Next cut ⅓ and scoop out the pulp inside. If you’re more of a visual person click this link to see more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVettl1feo . Use a knife to cut a drainage hole on the bottom and place a coffee filter at the bottom over the hole to keep soil mix from leaking out the gap. Fill the pumpkin with container mix and place your plants in the mix and pack on more of this blend around the plants with leaving about two inches of space at the top so soil won’t leak every time you try and water it. And there you have it your own d-i-y pumpkin plant holder perfect for the holidays.

As the pumpkin begins to decompose you can take your plants out and place them in a different container and add the leftover pumpkin to a compost bin. This is the next project you can do with your leftover pumpkins. Making a compost is a easy and cheap way to help your plants grow by adding the compost into the soil. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away and should be composted instead. By making a simple compost it keeps materials out of landfills where they take up space and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

To start a compost bin you would need to find or buy a plastic bin with a tight fitting lid about 24 inches tall or taller. Next using a drill or sharp object make about eight to ten holes on the bottom of the container. Place some shredded newspaper scrapes or dry leaves on the bottom of your compost bin filling about ⅛ -¼ full. Grab some dirt and throw it on top of your leaves/newspaper and start placing your leftover pumpkin and food scraps such as raw or cooked fruit or vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds and dry fiber things like toilet paper rolls and torn up egg crates make up 25 percent of the contents. After you’ve tossed in your items give it a quick stir with a shovel or stick making sure the dirt covers your compostings. When you are done mixing it a little bit add some lukewarm water until it’s damp but not soaking wet and grab your sharp tool again to make another eight to ten small holes for the lid and place it securely on top of the bin. To keep your bin from drying out put in a shady area and keep adding more scrapes and making sure to cover them with the dirt. Within two to three months before the compost is ready for gardening it can be used as mulch or potting soil. But make sure to keep at least ⅓ of it to keep the process going. If you need more detailed instructions check out this link for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6aIg0MSDOE .

Instead of just throwing away your pumpkin try to actually get something out of it or try to give something back like to your garden with the compost pile it helps make your plants improve their growth and health because of it’s organic matter in the soil, not to mention it is also a good way to recycle leaves and other yard wastes.