Jack O’ Lanterns are a fun and important part of Halloween. However, what do you do with the carved pumpkins when Halloween is over? Here are some great ideas:


As long as they are free of any candles/wax, decorations, or any non-organic matter, pumpkins make a great addition to your compost pile.  Chop them up to enable them to compost faster.

Make a Pumpkin Planter:

Fill the hollowed out pumpkins with soil and add your favourite fall flowers.  If you have holes from carving, use burlap to cover the holes.

Make Pumpkin Puree:

If you have painted your pumpkin instead of carving, just scrub the paint off, and remove the seeds and stringy material. Brush the exposed edges with oil, then place the pumpkin cut side down in an oven set to 350F.  Add enough water to the pan to steam and roast the pumpkin simultaneously.  Roast for about 45-55 minutes.  Scoop out the flesh and use it immediately or freeze it for future use.

Roast the Pumpkin Seeds:

Lay the seeds on a baking tray and roast at 350F for 10-15 minutes.  Toss them regularly.  Add a bit of salt and oil during cooking if you like or try adding some soy sauce or Cheyanne pepper.

Give Them To A Rescue Farm:

If you have not been painted the pumpkins, treated with preservatives, or covered in wax or decorations, many farm animals would love to chow down on pumpkins including chickens and pigs.

Create a Bird Feeder:

Place cut up pumpkins (seeds and all) around your garden to attract native birds.  Make sure the pumpkins have not been painted or treated with preservatives.

Host a Pumpkin Smash or a Pumpkin Chucking Contest:

Keep the festivities going by inviting friends and neighbours to smash or fling pumpkins.  See how far you can throw the pumpkin or create a fundraiser by raffling off pumpkins to smash.  Just remember to collect the pieces afterwards and either compost them, give them to the birds, or throw them out if they are moldy, painted, or treated with preservatives.

Save Seeds for Planting:

As long as the seeds have not been cooked, heated, or show signs of rot or mold they can be saved for planting.  Once dry, store the seeds in bags or containers.  In the spring plant those after the risk of frost has passed.