A No-Waste Pumpkin

Post by Contributing Writer, Holly

There are countless ways to put to good use all parts (rind, pulp, fibrous strands, and seeds) of a pumpkin. Here are just a few ways. We’d love to hear how your family uses pumpkins. Be sure to share your ideas in the comments area.

Pumpkin Rind

Compost Worm Food

Red wiggler compost worms LOVE pumpkin rind, or so I’ve read. I started my worm “farm” back in March, so this is the first real opportunity I’ve had to feed them this fall/harvest/Thanksgiving treat. They’ll be feasting on some pumpkin rinds very soon.

Don’t have compost worms? No problem! You can use the pumpkin for all sorts of decorative uses.

Most of these ideas require at least some pulp to help keep the pumpkin shape.

Bird Feeder

Of all the creative uses I’ve seen for a pumpkin, I think this bird feeder is my favorite.

Pathway Lanterns

These pumpkin lanterns are a neat way to dress up a walkway.

Flower Vase

A colorful mum arrangement would be perfect.

Target Practice

We’ll probably use our miniature “pumpkin” for target practice. Don’t worry, it won’t just lay in the woods and rot away. I’m sure the racoons, possoms, squirrels, coyotes, and/or deer will gobble it up before it has a chance to decay.

Pumpkin Pulp

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Doesn’t a pumpkin pie smoothie sound delicious! I’m determined to make one of these – really soon! After reading the recipe, it sounds simple enough. Simple is a major deciding factor when I’m choosing new recipes to try.

photo credit: Jill @ The Prairie Homestead
(photo used with permission)

Pumpkin Pie

There’s nothing new about pumpkin pie, but, for many, it’s still a favorite dessert, reminiscent of Thanksgiving shared with family and friends.

Pumpkin Waffles

I LOVE waffles. Here’s a pumpkin waffle recipe by Michele. It sounds yummy, healthy, and just like autumn.

Pumpkin Fibrous Strands

Okay … I guess I’m not real sure what can be done with the strands. Maybe they can be composted. I’ll probably give some to my compost worms to see what they do with them. If you have some ideas, please share them.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Garden Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be saved for next year’s garden. This is the first year I’ll be setting aside pumpkin seeds to use in next year’s garden. I’m pretty excited to see these seeds spring to life, come next spring.

Pumpkin Bird Seeds

At the very least, give ’em to the birds. Some birds enjoy eating pumpkin seeds. If you think about it, winter is a challenging time for birds to find food. Worms are beneath all the snow and frozen ground, bugs are pretty much the same story, grass seed and other plant seeds are nowhere to be found until spring. Help the little guys out. 😉

Baked Pumpkin Seeds/Snack Mix

If feeding pumpkin seeds to the birds seems wasteful, after the seeds have dried, soak them in a little olive oil and salt, and bake them for a tasty treat, to be enjoyed by humans. :)

How do you make use of the entire pumpkin?

Holly is a wife to her loving husband, John, and a “mother” of 3 canine “children.” She loves sharing her faith, gardening, and fascination and appreciation of animals (birds, bats, butterflies, and the cute furry ones too) over at Your Gardening Friend.

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5 comments to A No-Waste Pumpkin

  • Our chickens love to eat just about any and all part of the pumpkin! They love the strands, the goop we call it, and the seeds! Also I know our zoo and the local animal refuge/shelter feeds the pumpkins to the elephants and various other animals. Just another thought, if you wanted to donate instead of try to reuse yourself =)


    Holly Reply:

    Lord willing, we’ll have chickens next year, so hearing that chickens love to eat just about any part of a pumpkin is helpful to know. I know so little about chickens. I love to learn things like this. Thanks!

    (I didn’t realize elephants enjoyed pumpkins. Cool!)


  • Hollie

    I make pumpkin broth out of the fibrous strands by putting them in a pot and covering with cold water. Just let it simmer for several hours until the liquid’s color is pretty orange. Strain and use or freeze.
    After you are done you can compost it, but there’s not much left of it but fiber.


    Holly Reply:

    Thanks, Hollie. I would not have thought of pumpkin broth. Thanks for the instructions, too.


  • I just grind up the fibrous strands in my blendtec and add them to my muffins.


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