It is the post- Halloween conundrum nobody remembers to think about – what to do with your old pumpkin?
There are an estimated 18 million pumpkins grown in the UK every year, just over half get used as a pumpkin carving or on some form of Halloween display.
It is a bit of a shame to just throw it away and hardly eco-friendly, either.
There are ways of eating them or reusing them — you shouldn’t just throw them in the dustbin.
So what can you do with your old pumpkin? Here are some handy tips…
Pumpkins break down easily due to being mostly water — so they’re great for composting.
Plenty of small animals like rodents find them a useful treat.
But if you don’t have a compost pile — local gardens, farms, animal shelters or zoos may take them.
Remember: if you don’t want pumpkin shoots springing out of the compost heap, remove the seeds before discarding.
An uncarved pumpkin is also a useful makeshift plant pot.
The flesh serves as a useful fertiliser for whatever you wish to plant in the potting soil.
It is a little harder to do this with a carved pumpkin, so consider ways of blocking the holes.
If you are able to, planting the pumpkin seeds for next year might be a fun project to look after over the next year in the build up to the next spook-season.
If not, then the dried seeds can serve as additions to bird feeder.
The old pumpkin itself, carved or uncarved, is something to hang your bird feeder on briefly, should you choose to, though this is something of a temporary project before the fruit breaks down.
Roasting the seeds is also good for a tasty snack.
You can eat your pumpkin, of course, though remember to check if it has gone bad first and do this within 24 hours of carving it. Approximately 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin ends up in the bin after October 31, research found.
If it has been outside, it is better to avoid eating as it will have been subjected to all sorts in the way of opportunistic insects and arachnids.
Don’t expect to be overwhelmed with flavour. Most pumpkins used for eating are in supermarkets and are usually far tastier, while carving pumpkins are bred to be sturdy.
You can eat all of it except for the stalk and the whole of the pumpkin is useful for all kinds of recipes.
Hubbub is a website with plenty of ideas and recipes for your pumpkin pleasure.