Pumpkin picking and pumpkin patches have become super popular in the UK in recent years.

Love them or loathe them the pumpkin patches are here to stay and they are getting more and more extravagant with their offerings of spooky trails, hay bales and games. I avoided them last year due to covid but this year (even though covid is still with us and cases are rising) I’ve agreed to take my little ones again.

We are going pumpkin picking today actually, safely and socially distanced of course.

It’s fun for them picking out a pumpkin or two, or as it works out around four or five, then we go home to get to work on our creations – pumpkin carving is hard work and I’m not going to lie, this is the part I dislike the most. But once it’s done the pumpkins look super cute and my children love putting them at the front of the house.

One thing we can all agree on, this pumpkin extravagance causes so much unnecessary waste.

24 million pumpkins were purchased in 2020. but over half were thrown away because many people don’t know that the inside is edible. Mind blowing!!!!

If like me you will be partaking in pumpkin decorating this year, here are some things you can do to use the whole pumpkin so that it doesn’t go to waste;

  1. Pick the seeds out, yes it’s a faff but it’s worth it. Clean them and roast them. They’re a huge source of vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin K, both of which are important in helping wounds heal. They also contain zinc, a mineral that helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses. They’re also, believe it or not, super yummy.
  2. Scoop out the pulp and use to cook soups, pies, and muffins.
  3. Feed the birds. Birds love the seeds and pulp too – they’re high in vitamins and minerals that help keep them healthy and strong through the winter.
  4. Once you’re finished with the outer part of the pumpkin, give it a good wash, carve it up and roast it. You can then pick off the nice parts or put it out for wildlife and birds in your garden.
  5. If you are a keen gardener you can use it as a pot for plants in the garden. ie put compost in the used pumpkin, plant your plant then plant the whole thing in the ground. This will then release nutrients for the plant and compost nicely too.
  6. Anything you haven’t used, compost if you can.

Try not to go overboard and buy too many pumpkins. It’s hard and I’m no saint when the kiddies are in my ear. However, we all know waste reduction in everything that we do is necessary to impact less on the earth around us.

Enjoy your pumpkin carving peeps – I’ll be at the pumpkin patch when this blog goes live… wish me luck 🙂

Jayne x

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