Post Pumpkin Plan

November in Chicago. The month starts and the clouds roll in and the temperatures drop. We’re still early enough in the season where I find the weather to be somewhat delightful and oddly charming: cozy socks, cuddly blankets, hot tea. Hygge to the max!!

Last month the kids and I carved pumpkins in the courtyard with our neighbors. We all enjoyed homemade popcorn, pumpkin bread and apple cider while creating our messy masterpieces.

Our jack-o-lanterns heralded Halloween on our front porch…

…until yesterday when Ben and I composted them at City Farm Chicago, a sustainable urban farm nestled among high rises.

Sure, it would have been a lot easier to heave the moldy pumpkins into our trash can, but for many reasons that wasn’t the better option:

*Composting pumpkins really helps the planet. Decomposing organics make landfills the 3rd largest producer of methane. Composting returns nutrients and water back to the soil where they came. Feed our soils, not our landfills!

*Hauling the pumpkins created a special memory for me to share with Ben. It was a lot of work to walk several rotting and unwieldy pumpkins to City Farm, but Ben stepped up and offered to help push the stroller. We smiled and laughed (and sweat!) the whole way there! He was so happy to tell his dad and siblings about our little adventure.

*Bringing the pumpkins to City Farm allowed me to interact with people in my community. While there I spoke to the head farmer who told me about the children’s farm she has planned for next spring. And, Ben and I picked out some squash, kale and freshly picked Swiss chard to bring home. We also took home the last batch of 2018 baby tomatoes!

*Walking our pumpkins to the farm was good exercise in the brisk November air! What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

To learn more about pumpkin composting in your area, check out and

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