Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recycle Your Pumpkin

Every year, one billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the U.S. and many end up in landfills shortly after Halloween. A pumpkin is 100% natural and there are several ways to recycle or reuse your jack-o-lantern. Here are 4 ways to recycle your pumpkin.

1. Make a bird or squirrel feeder with your pumpkin. Fill it with corn, seeds, nuts, and fruit pieces.

2. Pumpkins make great planters for flowers.

3. Convert your pumpkin into compost. A compost pile can be as simple as a shallow hole, or you can build or buy a compost bin. You mix in kitchen waste, like fruit and veggie scraps, with yard waste, like grass clippings and dead leaves. Add water, give it some time and you will be rewarded with a rich compost. Here is a simple bucket method of composting. Cut the bottom out of the bucket. Dig a hole larger than the bucket to a depth that allows the cover to go on close to ground level. Put kitchen waste in the bucket, keeping the lid closed while the waste digests. The lid is important to keep moisture in the materials. After about 10 weeks pull the bucket and start another one in the garden.

4. One favorite in our household is roasting the pumpkin seeds. Separate the seeds from the membrane and rinse. Soak in salt water overnight. Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, turning once. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Check out these fabulous flavors from

Italian Style Pumpkin Seeds: Italian Seasoning Blend, Parmesan Cheese, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Seeds: Cinnamon, Ground Ginger and Pinch of Nutmeg, Butter

Greek Style Pumpkin Seeds: Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend, Oregano, Salt, Olive Oil