Do you have your Halloween costume ready for Monday night? Have you bought treats for the princesses and goblins who may appear on your doorstep? Have you carved your Jack-o-lantern? Here are five tips for having an eco-friendly Halloween with zero waste.
1. Buy local pumpkins.
Check out your local farmers’ market and you’ll see that local farmers have been preparing for Halloween since spring tulips were in bloom.
Here are local farmers’ markets in our area:
Sanford Farmers’ Market, Central Square, Sanford, ME (Weds. 12-4pm., and Sat. 8-noon)
North Berwick Farmers’ Market, 21 Main Street, No. Berwick, ME (Fri. 3-6pm.)
Wells Farmers’ Market, 208 Sanford, Rd., Wells, ME (Weds. 1:30-5pm.)
Kennebunk Farmers’ Market, Garden St. Lot, Kennebunk, ME (Sat. 8am-1pm.)
Saco River Market, 110 Main St., Saco, ME (Sat. 9am-12:30pm.)
Saco Farmers’ Market, corner of Spring & Scrammon Sts., Saco, ME (Weds. and Sat. 7am to noon)
Newfield Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, 637 Water St., Newfield, ME (Sat. 9am-1pm.)
York–Gateway Winter Farmers’ Market, 9 Hannaford Dr., York, ME (Sat. 9am-noon)
Kittery Community Market, 10 Shapleigh Rd., Kittery, ME (Sun 10am-2pm.)
FMI check out The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets.
2. Roast seeds.
Clean the stringy pulp off of the seeds and rinse in cool water. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes to dry off the seeds. Remove seeds from oven and toss with oil and spice such as oregano and Parmesan cheese if desired. Return seeds to oven and roast for an additional 20 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
3. Use pumpkin for cooking.
Start by making your own pumpkin puree. Cut your pumpkin down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and guts and set aside. Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with about 1 cup of water. Bake the pumpkin for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Next, scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor.
If you don’t roast all the seeds or turn all of the pumpkin into puree, then be sure to compost any remaining pumpkin pieces and parts.
New to composting? Check out these helpful links:
5. Consider growing your own pumpkin next year.
Think of the satisfaction you’ll feel when you proudly display your pumpkin next October knowing that you grew it yourself. Of course now is not the time for planting seeds so keep this link handy for the spring planting season.
Have you had success growing pumpkins? Share your tips and tricks on our Facebook page.
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