When October 31 is here and Bengtson’s has closed for the season, we’ve said goodbye to thousands of pumpkins as they’ve been taken to homes all across the Chicago area. Those that aren’t made into pie will be turned into jack-o-lanterns and used as decorations. But all real pumpkins go bad eventually, and you’ll have to do something with them. Here are some tips for what to do with a rotten pumpkin.
Those of you who are extra-crafty can actually incorporate the decomposition process into your pumpkin art. As your jack-o-lantern gets less and less structurally sound, the face can start to “melt” and create an even scarier decoration for Halloween!
One of the most obvious uses for a pumpkin is as compost. If you compost at home, chuck it into the composter and let the rot that started on your porch continue in the composter. Heck, let the kids hasten the decomposition process by letting them hit it with a hammer of chopping it with a shovel. It’s constructive destruction! (Many recycling centers will also take pumpkins with grass clippings and leaves.)
Leave It Out!
A decomposing pumpkin is an at-home science project. If you have an underused corner of the yard, leave the pumpkin there all winter and into spring. What insects have been attracted? Where did the mold start? Did the squirrel seem to avoid the parts that were rotten or just dig in? Kids will love checking up on it, and the grossness factor will have them even more interested. (Remember to put something disposable under it while it rots, like the bottom of a milk jug. Decomposing pumpkins can actually stain concrete slabs and paving stones!)
Whatever you do with your pumpkin, its use can go well-beyond those you’d consider traditional fall activities in Chicagoland. We hope you grab your fill at our pumpkin patch in Homer Glen!