A green Halloween, part one (Day 235)…

pumpkin

Today will be the first of two posts on how I’m greening my Halloween, often one of the worst holidays in terms of its ecological impact. In a couple hours, I’ll be hopping on my bike and heading over to a friend’s house for his annual Punkinpalooza carving competition. He has a live band playing on his porch, lots of harvest-time food and an official judging panel.

It should be lots of fun, but at the same time I’m not really comfortable with taking a knife to a gourd unless I know it won’t be wasted. While a lot of people do make an effort to toast the seeds, not many folks actually eat the pumpkin after it’s been sitting outside on the front steps with a melting candle in it all night.

But I’m going to make sure I not only eat the seeds from my pumpkin — which I can toast in a frying pan, as I don’t have access to my oven — but the meaty innards, too. They’ll be perfect for soup, or fried up with some other root veggies and lots of olive oil. I just hope the kiddies who come to my door on the 31st will appreciate homemade organic pumpkin purée in reusable Tupperware containers (just kidding).

Image courtesy of this website

18 Responses to A green Halloween, part one (Day 235)…

  1. always learning says:

    i love your blog and it has inspired me many a time. BUT i cannot support pumpkin carving even if you save the seeds. it is SO SO wasteful that thousands of pumpkins are grown every year using pesticides, water, etc, just to be thrown away.
    some traditons will have to change as the earth’s population takes it toll on the land.

  2. limesarah says:

    You’ll want to spice the pumpkin innards very heavily, and possibly puree them. Pumpkin pie is made from little sugar pumpkins with very hard rinds that are not ideal for carving (though they’re fun to draw or paint on), but jack-o-lantern pumpkins do not taste very good. They tend to be bland and stringy.

    always learning — we could bring back turnip carving! I did that last year. It’s lots of fun, though less good for kids, since it requires considerably more manual dexterity. People can also support organic pumpkin farms, and have collections after Halloween to compost the used ones. That’s plenty of healthy vegetable matter that would benifit the soil even if we don’t eat it.

  3. Here is my Pumpkin soup recipe

    Harvest Time Pumpkin Soup
    1 large onion, diced medium
    3 stalks celery, diced medium
    2 carrots, diced medium
    1 large leek, diced medium
    2 cups pumpkin
    6 cups vegetable broth
    1 teaspoon cumin powder
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    pinch of clove
    pinch of nutmeg
    salt, to taste

    1. Add all ingredients into a stock pot over medium high heat.
    2. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.
    3. Simmer for 30 minutes and remove from heat.
    4. Let cool for 15 minutes.
    5. Puree soup in blender and return to pot.

  4. blah says:

    I personally hated this part of Halloween and eventually gave up the whole pumpkin carving thing completely. I just couldn’t think of very many things to do with the pumpkin goo that I had to carve out. Then I thought about using squash instead. There are so many designs that you could come up with and I personally prefer the taste of a yummy butternut squash to a pumpkin any day.

    However, the Pumpkinpalooza sounds awesome. I’ve heard of pumpkin beer before, perhaps they should try serving that at the next one.

  5. emily says:

    limesarah, thanks for mentioning that bit about the sugar pumpkins. I had no idea, but it explains why, the one time I tried to make pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, it didn’t work out at all! Hmm, sugar pumpkins… I’ll remember that.

  6. Elaine says:

    Here’s a pumpkin recipe that’s very good, and certainly not the usual!

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Turkey-Chili/Detail.aspx

  7. patti says:

    We’ve always eaten our pumpkins.

  8. Stella DeGree says:

    I love carving pumpkins, and I love eating them, too! I just made a great recipe with lentils, onions, jalapeno, pumpkin, and tomatoes–everything but the lentils were from the organic farmers market. (So not all pumpkins are grown with pesticides!)

  9. hateration says:

    As a one of the few participants to have attended every pumpkinpalooza, I gotta say, this post is weak sauce.

    Though in one respect pumpkin carving is a waste of a pumpkin (and the resources that went into growing it), on the other hand, I can think of few other means of decorating for a holiday that are as environmentally friendly. Compare it with tinsel, christmas lights, etc. and it looks pretty good.

    Moreover, you can’t participate (by showing up) in pumpkinpalooza and then dis it. Make a stand! If you actually want to decry the environmental catastrophe that is pumpkin carving, then I think you have to boycott the giant party in its honour.

    (most of this is jokes, by the way. i just love me some pumpkinpalooza.)

  10. emma says:

    mmm or pumpkin PIE!!!! nice hot pumpkin pie is good. Any ideas on your jackolantern design? Maybe we can carve out a catchy line like “Hallogreen” or hahaaha…”it’s green-o-ween” see THIS is why we’re writers…

  11. Rachel says:

    Thanks for bringing this up. We’ll be feeding our pumpkins to our chickens, and collecting our neighbor’s pumpkins as well for the chickens. I wonder if the egg yolks will get really deep yellow with all that beta carotene…. So if you’re not up to eating the pumpkin, seek out a small farm that would be happy for the donation of free animal fodder. In Las Vegas there’s a big pig farm on the north end of town that takes donations of not only used jack o lanterns but also all the pumpkins that didn’t get sold before the holiday. And definitely, this is the time to buy up those pumpkins and make and freeze pumpkin puree for the upcoming holidays. Our town has a pesticide free pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin, so we’ll be supporting that, of course.

  12. patty t says:

    punkinpalooza FTW!!!

  13. […] Green as a Thistle points out an interesting waste problem in one of her posts, when she discusses pumpkin carving. For Halloween millions of folks will buy a pumpkin to carve it and then display it on their front lawn or porch. […]

  14. […] means by the way, here) has a two-parter on her blog, but as I write this, only the first one is up here. I’ll update this when the second part goes […]

  15. […] Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments […]

  16. read more information on these types of things. I like a more natural lifestyle for my whole families benefit.

  17. […] A green Halloween, part one (Day 235)… « Green as a Thistle I just hope the kiddies who come to my door on the 31st will appreciate homemade organic pumpkin purée in reusable Tupperware containers (just kidding). Image courtesy of this website . Though in one respect pumpkin carving is a waste of a pumpkin (and the resources that went into growing it), on the other hand, I can think of few other means of decorating for a holiday that are as environmentally friendly. Compare it with tinsel, christmas lights, etc. and it looks . […]

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