Fall has finally arrived which means you’ll be seeing a lot of pumpkins around every corner. Pumpkins are great for carving, painting, decorating, baking, eating, stacking, and more! As the season goes on, what do you do with that pumpkin sitting on your porch? Here are some tips and tricks to make the most out of your pumpkin this season… and after the season!

Use Them As Decoration

One of the simplest ways to use your pumpkin is as decoration! They look great on your porch, deck, even indoors on your windowsill. Farmer John’s has stackable heirloom pumpkins that you can mix and match. Change out the color, the style, the stackable level is all up to you!

Painting and Carving 

Farmer John’s just had their Halloween bash filled with little pumpkin painters! If you’re looking to paint, use non-toxic acrylic paint. It is water-based instead of oil-based, this way if you make a mistake you can easily wipe it off. You don’t have to be experienced to paint a pumpkin, try out some different methods. If you’re looking to carve, here’s a controversial tip. For a longer life try carving a hole in the bottom of your pumpkin instead of the top. You don’t need to save the bottom cutout piece, allow more airflow by taking that bottom piece away. The bleach method is the best to preserve your pumpkin. After your pumpkin is carved, soak it in bleach and water mixture for 1 hour. This will lengthen the life of your pumpkin.

Delicious Recipes

  1. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Did you know that pumpkin pie spice is super simple to make! No need to buy it at the store, you probably have all the ingredients in your spice cabinet! All you need is 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ⅛ tsp cloves. Mix that up and there you go! Store in an airtight container.

  1. Pumpkin Puree

Have a pie pumpkin laying around? Even after the holidays, a pie pumpkin can be transformed into pumpkin puree! Farmer John’s has tons of pie pumpkins out front. If your pumpkin is painted, it can still be used to make puree. Wash off the non-toxic acrylic paint, skin your pumpkin, then follow our recipe for pumpkin puree. https://youtu.be/8oqo1FHP328

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

This is a common way to make the most out of your pumpkin. Especially if you are planning on carving it. Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin and start scooping out the seeds. Make sure to separate the pumpkin “guts” from the seeds. Add oil and your desired seasoning and they’re good to go into the oven. 250°F for approx 45 minutes.

  1. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Now that you have your homemade puree ready, put it to use! We tried out this delicious recipe so you don’t have to. They are gluten-free, paleo and vegan. Check out our youtube video for ingredients and directions https://youtu.be/hXETsQ3oWbM

Epicurious has 29 pumpkin puree recipes you can try with your freshly made puree. There are tons of recipes on the internet for pumpkin recipes that are sweet, salty… I even found one for a pumpkin spice latte! https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/pumpkin-puree-recipes-gallery

Pumpkin Planter

  • Believe it or not pumpkins can double as a pot! Any pumpkin will work, we recommend using a short and fat one instead of tall and skinny. It will make it easier to plant. The secret is to plant it right into the ground when it starts to fade. The rotting pumpkin will act as a natural fertilizer. Check out more here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/containers/making-pumpkin-planters.htm

Pumpkin Bird Feeder

To make a bird feeder start with cutting your pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and guts. (You can roast those seeds and mix them into your bird feeder. Just make sure  not to add any seasoning.) Optional to insert sticks to make perches for the birds. Knot your rope and attach it to the bottom of your pumpkin bird feeder. Fill with birdseed and pumpkin seeds. Hang outside and enjoy your visitors!