The spooky season is upon us, and nothing fills a home with the spirit of Halloween like the sights and scents of pumpkins. The journey from patch to porch to pie is an important one, so we’ve collated everything you need to know for pumpkin perfection this October.
Sourcing your pumpkins
For many, the process of picking the perfect pumpkin is as important a step in the artistic process as the carving and displaying. An internet search will hopefully reveal a choice of pumpkin patches close enough to drive to, and many offer pumpkin picking events as well as general sale. What better way to experience the autumn air than getting wrapped up for a country stroll through pumpkin-populated farmland?
Carving pumpkins will be readily available in all well-known supermarkets right through the Halloween month, so if country air isn’t your style, make sure to peruse the shelves and find the right one for you.
Carving your pumpkins
It’s time to really let your creativity loose: fetch the potato peeler, sharpen the kitchen knives, let your ghoulish muse step forward. Carving pumpkins can be a great supervised activity with the kids or a cheap date night! Crank Monster Mash up, or slice in front of a spooky movie, and when you’re done, you’ll have the perfect doorstep decoration.
Search online for unique and challenging carving inspirations or print out a template to cut around for a sneaky professional look.
Get the most out of your pumpkins
Getting your carving done early enough to display it for the street to see, but not so early that it looks a bit too spooky by the 31st, is an art, and will totally depend on the ripeness of the fruit. There are also lots of by-products to the art of pumpkin carving but throwing away the flesh and seeds is wasteful. Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are a seasonal snack, and there are countless pumpkin recipes to fill frightened faces.
Disposing of your pumpkins
Once the excitement and festivities of Hallows Eve have passed, don’t forget that your now-defunct pumpkins are organic waste and, without the seeds, should go in your compost bin. The seeds can be left out for the birds, and other local wildlife will appreciate some small pieces of pumpkin flesh if it isn’t too far past its best. Chunks of the fruit can also be buried in your garden, breaking down over time to benefit the soil and health of your plants.