What can I do with real pumpkins for decorating?

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We love to garden and have always believed there is never too much of a good thing. We amend that statement. Pumpkins took over our garden, choked out our tomatoes and almost everything else. Between the pumpkins and the green beans it was like a tornado building up strength. They actually grew up and over our neighbor's trees and into her yard. OK, so now that we have so many, what to do with them? If you bring them inside, they rot quickly and if you don't stay on top of it you end up with the dreaded mystery odor. If we put them outside, every rodent tells others and it's fair game for attack. If I process them and freeze pumpkin stuff for future baking, I never seem to get around to it as I fear baking. Right now, they are all unceremoniously dumped on our patio table and are safe so far. Help??
q what can i do with real pumpkins for decorating , halloween decorations, seasonal holiday decor, About 5 ft off the ground headed next door
About 5 ft off the ground headed next door.
  10 answers
  • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Oct 09, 2016
    Four answers below. Fifth answer: give to a local day care facility for the kiddos to go pumpkin hunting in their play area outside (they did this for my son and I thought it was a clever idea)

  • Barb Ban Barb Ban on Oct 09, 2016
    Donate them to a food kitchen or food pantry for needy families. A food kitchen that feeds hungry people will turn them into something to serve. A food pantry where people come and pick up food for their families can take them if they are interested and for many their kids will have pumpkins to carve where otherwise they would not.

    • 7218805 7218805 on Oct 10, 2016
      I absolutely agree! Don't let them go to waste as mere decorations! Food kitchens will make good use out of them to feed the hungry. Decorations only last a short while, but the satisfaction you'll feel when you donate to the poor will last a lot longer.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 09, 2016
    There are so many ideas for vast amounts of pumpkins.In the past I did a fall display on my front lawn filling a wheelbarrow with hay and loaded it up with the pumpkins. Surrounding it with scarecrows,mums,cabbages and kale. Truly was amazing. Tp protect the pumpkins simply use a clear spray paint. Then the balance I would do as others said Donate them to schools,charities etc.

  • Jane Jane on Oct 10, 2016
    A non-decorative use for pumpkins...give them to anyone who raises earthworms. I have a red wiggler compost bed and they absolutely love pumpkin. A good way to use the pumpkins that have gone bad or even Jack-O-lanterns after Halloween. They would also be great in a regular compost bed.

  • Ann R.McDermand Ann R.McDermand on Oct 10, 2016
    They can be used for cattle feed in some parts of the country, Don't let tem go to waste. Also , the best thing I ever tasted was pumpkin and winter squash cheesecake

  • Carole Carole on Oct 10, 2016
    Before donating to a food bank or whatever, make sure they are the "cooking" type. Some are JUST for decorating & others are used for cooking.

  • Rosa B Rosa B on Oct 10, 2016
    Set them out by the road with a FREE sign. They will be gone in no time.

  • JoLeen Bolton JoLeen Bolton on Oct 10, 2016
    Maybe your local zoo could use them...I read an article about the hippos enjoying them one harvest season.

    • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Oct 18, 2016
      Great idea JoLeen Bolton. Go on-line to the closest zoo in your area, there should be a list of what 'green' donations they are in need of. Our zoo asks for tree branches with leaves for the giraffe family.

  • Joy Joy on Oct 11, 2016
    Donate them to your local school. The kids love to paint them and then take them home.

    • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Oct 18, 2016
      Call your local public schools and ask before you donate. Some public schools don't have traditional Halloween celebrations any longer or use pumpkins in fall lessons.

  • Sue P. Sue P. on Oct 17, 2016
    cut the stems off and sell them on ebay! People buy them to use in making velvet pumpkins. Google velvet pumpkins to see examples and on ebay, search "pumpkin stems." People pay good money for real stems!