Carving a pumpkin this half-term? We’ve got you covered for the week ahead.

Where did pumpkin carving begin?

Pumpkin carving began in Ireland in response to a popular folktale about a man who carried a carved-out turnip – he filled this with glowing coal and carried it with him in the afterlife. Irish immigrants introduced the custom to America, where pumpkins are readily available, and the ‘Jack-o’-lantern’ was born. Since then, pumpkin carving has become an increasingly popular activity.

Top carving tips

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut around the top of the pumpkin.
  2. With a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh from the inside.
  3. Draw out your design on to the pumpkin. Here’s an example bat template to get you started!
    Bat template
  4. With a small sharp knife, begin to carve out your design.  Always cut away from you to avoid any injuries, and make sure children are supervised at all times whilst carving. 
  5. Place a tealight inside the pumpkin, light, and replace the lid of the pumpkin.
  6. Send the photos of your really wild pumpkins to us on social media!

Here’s one we made earlier at the Care Farm!

Pumpkin carving at the care farm

Be resourceful

Frankenstein is a popular green monster most people associate with Halloween – but maybe going green made him far from a villain!

40% of consumers buy pumpkins, but 60% of these people admit to not using them! A ghastly 8 million pumpkins will be headed to landfill this year in the UK – so what can you do to reduce food waste?

  1. Turn your pumpkin into a bird feeder!
    By creating holes in your pumpkin and adding some sticks in the side for birds to perch on, you can fill your pumpkin with bird seed to create a natural yummy treat for your garden birds this autumn.
    Birds can also eat the pumpkin seeds! Just dry them out first at 180C for 10 minutes.

  2. Create compost for your garden!
    Cut up your leftover pumpkin into chunks and bury them in some soil to feed your garden mini–beasts. The worms will love them and you'll be sequestering carbon, too!

  3. Toast the seeds for a healthy snack!
    Toast the pumpkin seeds in some cinnamon for a seasonal spiced treat.

  4. Give to others
    Don’t like eating pumpkins? Use a food waste app such as Olio or Too Good To Go to find local people in your community who will happily take them off your hands!

More about reducing food waste