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Long live pumpkins!

« Mais qui habite cette maison? », by Julie Bernard.
Credit: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Decorated pumpkin
Long live pumpkins!

Updating: September 21, 2017

Everyone loves Halloween. Many Quebeckers buy one or more pumpkins at this time of year and turn them into decorations, a meal or even dessert. You may already have a few ideas about how you can make Halloween a “green” holiday. Pumpkins are a great place to start.

Some surprising figures

Pumpkins account for only a very small share of agricultural crops in Canada. But consider this: according to Statistics Canada, in 2015 the marketed production of pumpkins in Canada was a whopping 63,945 tonnes. It would really be too bad if all those pumpkins ended up in the trash after October 31! Here’s an idea for rescuing them.

A greener Great Pumpkin Ball

For more than 30 years, people have been decorating pumpkins and bringing them in early October to the Montréal Botanical Garden, where they are displayed at the Great Pumpkin Ball. This popular contest always brings out everyone’s amazing creativity!

Once the festivities are over, our team of nature interpreters takes any of the creations that can’t be fully composted and carefully “undresses” them, so that they can be turned into compost, too. In recent years, people have also started decorating their pumpkins with compostable – but not perishable – decorations. That means fruit and vegetables are out, but dried flowers are perfect. And in order to keep their pumpkins intact while they’re on display, we ask people not to cut into them or hollow them out. Why not do the same thing at home? Then you can eat your pumpkin once Halloween is over!

And after Halloween?

Why not turn your squash or pumpkin into something tasty? Check out the Montréal Space for Life Website for some twenty recipes where squash and pumpkins are the key ingredients. If the fruit is intact, it can easily be stored for up to a month. You can cook the flesh and roast the seeds. Yum!

Let your imagination soar!

Of course, there are lots of other great ways to make Halloween greener. You’ll find some interesting suggestions on the Internet: for instance, why not make greater use of LED lights to decorate your home? And why not grow your own pumpkins or squash, or buy organic ones, locally? If you’re looking for some inspiration, come see us at the Botanical Garden. We have all kinds of tips for making pumpkins last longer…

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