Have you and your family been creating fun, spooky carved pumpkins ready for Halloween? Do you know what happens to those pumpkins after 31st October?
Over 18 thousand tonnes of pumpkins get wasted in the UK every year. With such a large amount of food waste, we wanted to share some ideas on how your pumpkin can be used to its full potential, to create tasty meals and be used to help the local wildlife too.
Cook up a feast
Pumpkin tastes delicious and is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, so save the pumpkin flesh and create a fantastic soup or stew, perfect for those chilly autumnal nights. For something a little different, roast it or add some to your bakes for really moist cakes. Pumpkin seeds make a delicious snack too, simply roast them for 10 minutes and enjoy, or make a sweet treat by adding some cinnamon and sugar to them before roasting.
Help enhance the biodiversity in your garden, birds will love your leftover pumpkin and so will essential insects and critters. Create a feast for them by chopping your pumpkin into chunks and bury them about 25cm deep in your garden. The nutrients will then recycle into the soil, making it extra fertile (don’t forget to remove any seeds unless you’d like your own pumpkin harvest next year!).
Share the seeds
Birds love all kinds of seeds, pumpkin included. Save the seeds and put them in your feeder. Dry them out first by baking in the oven at 180C for about ten minutes. Help smaller birds by breaking them up a bit before you put them out.
Create a bird feeder
A great activity for everyone to get involved with. Create your own bird feeder and enjoy seeing a variety of birds come to visit. A fun educational activity that easily can be turned into a game, just count how many different birds you see.
Make some holes in your pumpkin and push strong sticks through to create perches for birds. Tie a piece of string off each stick, then tie all the lengths of string above the pumpkin so you can hang your feeder from a sturdy branch.
Fill the pumpkin with bird seed and watch to see if you get any hungry visitors. If you haven’t got a tree but have a bird table, just leave your pumpkin on the table for the birds to enjoy.
Remember to clean out the feeder every few days and put the pumpkin on the compost heap once it starts to rot, otherwise it could harm the birds.