Pumpkins Are Pleasing

— Written By Peg Godwin and last updated by
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More and more pumpkins have appeared as the temperatures have cooled. Pumpkins are appreciated for decorative use in the fall and for delicious desserts. Pumpkins are currently available in a multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes. This fall vegetable can be used for much more than decorating. Special varieties of pumpkins, called pie pumpkins, make the best baking, but a pumpkin grown for decorating can also make a tasty treat.

If you never got around to carving your pumpkin, consider cooking it for a healthy treat. Pies and desserts made with pumpkin are tasty treats and abound in vitamin A and C and have over 500 mg. of potassium. Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are also good sources of protein and iron. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, and roasted pumpkin seeds are favorite dishes for some cooks.

If you enjoyed your pumpkin as a carved creation, you will need to determine its final location fairly quickly because nature will begin to reclaim the product. Start by removing candles, wax and other decorations like hats or added materials. The compost pile is a great spot to leave your pumpkin to turn into fertilizer. If you have never composted before, a pumpkin is a simply great way to begin. Place the carved pumpkin in a spot that is sunny and out of daily activities. You can supervise the smashing of the pumpkin by children or smash it some yourself. Covering the pumpkin with leaves or a bit of soil will also speed up the process. Nature will take care of turning it into compost over a bit of time.

Whole, uncarved pumpkins can also be encouraged to turn into rich compost. If the seeds are not removed, they may sprout in the spring. Save the seeds by removing them from the pulp, rinsing them in a colander and spacing them out on paper to dry in a cool dry place for about a week. Store the seeds in a small bag or envelope that is labeled. The dry seed may also be placed in the refrigerator or other cool location.

Other creative things to do with your pumpkin include cutting the top off and using it for temporary planters. They will likely only last a short time. Cutting a small door for access into your pumpkin may encourage something in the garden to live in your pumpkin. Squirrels, birds, and toads may all visit before the insides break down.