Saturday, October 29, 2011

Opportunity Knocking - What to do with all of those pumpkins???

As "Shrek" and "Donkey" are transforming the front yard into a swamp complete with an outhouse and "Puss in Boots" and "Baby Dronkey" are down for their naps I'm planning the rest of my errands including a last-minute Pumpkin Run for jack o'lanterns.

It's practically a rule in Dunwoody that every house of worship has to have a Pumpkin Patch to sell decorative pumpkins for fall, including Halloween.  Like all produce pumpkins have a limited shelf life and they have to be disposed of.  Decorative pumpkins don't get made into pie.  So hooligans are going to smash them or they're going to get thrown away.

Is there a better option?

When Christmas ends and Christmas trees start dying, there is a network of tree recyclers that runs the "Bring One for the Chipper" program.  Instead of leaving trees on the street to rot and then get picked up by DeKalb sanitation and put in a landfill, Christmas trees are mulched with giant chippers, then the mulch used for public beautification projects, or even given back to individual gardeners.

Is there any reason that pumpkins/jack o'lanterns can't be recycled in a similar way?  You can't chip them for mulch but you can compost them.  And there is a big gardening movement here in town encouraging vegetable growing.  You can't have enough compost to fortify your garden beds over the winter and into spring.

Only hitch is you can't guarantee that the pumpkins are organic.  Even so, this is an opportunity worth developing to keep the streets clean, avoid reeking rotting pumpkins on streets and sidewalks, and add compost to gardens that need it.

Anyone want to run with this idea?