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Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’

We prefer to not have too many store bought decorations because we do not like to store them until the next year.  Partly because it is clutter and partly because once anything goes down the stairs to the basement I will never be able to find it again, but that is something to tackle for another post.

Decoration Ideas

  • Put pumpkins out that were grown at a local farm or grow your own
  • Use different sizes (tall and skinny, round, mini) and colors (white pumpkins, not just orange)
  • Carve jack-o-lanterns or paint them
  • Fresh apples from a local orchard in a bowl on the table
  • Use different colored leaves, pine needles, pine cones, acorns, branches, rocks, or seeds from your yard in a basket as a centerpiece
  • Branches of bittersweet in a vase
  • Use lots of candles – put tea lights in hollowed out gourds
  • Put different Halloween candies like sugar pumpkins, candy corn, or orange and black jelly beans in different size glass jars
  • Blow up orange balloons and use a black permanent marker to draw jack-o-lantern faces on them

No Sew Costumes

Just because you do not sew does not mean you cannot make your child’s costume. Find a picture of the character you want to create online and use it as inspiration. Be creative.

Last year my son and I put together his Handy Manny costume. It consisted of his work boots, jeans, a green t-shirt, a brown belt, yellow rubber dishwashing gloves (size XS), a red baseball hat, and he carried a toy tool box with tools in it.

This year he is going to be Bob the Builder. His costume consists of overalls, a red checkered flannel shirt, a tool belt, a toy construction hat we found at a consignment store and his work boots again.

Thirteen Ideas for a Green Halloween that is EEK-cologically Friendly

Laura M. Brown is the owner of P’lovers of Texas (www.plovers.us). P’lovers, originally established in Canada, stands for both ‘Planet Lovers’ and ‘Piping Plovers’, which are small Nova Scotia shore birds which were declared an endangered species in 1985. P’lovers eco-friendly items are available in store and online and can be shipped anywhere.

Laura provided the following green tips for Halloween for parents and families that are fun, hip and sensitive to Mother Earth:

1.       Decorate your pumpkin with vegetables. Use a carrot for the nose, green peppers or small cauliflower halves for ears…corn silk or other vegetables for hair. Afterwards, compost the vegetables along with your unused pumpkin parts.

2.       Serving cold beverages? Tickle your guests by using On the Rocks – Granite Ice Cube Drink Chillers (available at Uncommongoods.com) instead of ice cubes. They won’t dilute your drinks, make for great conversation and come in sets of six.

3.       Treat bags can be anything.  P’lover’s bamboo shopping bags are great…and so are pillowcases (great for big trick or treaters!)

4.       Use white pillow cases for making small ghost decorations.  Place a balloon or ball on lamp base, (unplugged please.) Then drape a white pillow case over it. You might use twine or rope to give your ghost a belt. Make a scary face if you wish with fabric scraps.

5.       Serve those Halloween and harvest treats in recycled glass or bamboo servers. You can create a wonderful “eye ball salad” using one of P’lovers olive servers. Just alternate large pitted black or green olives with small mozzarella balls that you have given eyeballs using slices of pimento stuffed olives.  Spooktacular!

6.       Give fun, useful and hip treats instead of candy. Stickers, recycled erasers, bamboo pencils and our chubby “tree” crayons make great surprises. Beautiful shells, polished rocks and other natural surprises are loved by children!

7.       Decorate oranges with food coloring markers to make tiny jack o ‘lanterns.

8.       Stay in the neighborhood. Rather than driving the kids, walk to your destination and celebrate with your neighbors.

9.       Light your barbeque, fireplace or outdoor fire pit with Holy Smokes™ fire starters made from recycled church candles.

10.   Give golfers on your trick or treat list golf tees made from corn. It’s a hole in one for Mother Earth!

11.   If you are hosting a party, avoid disposable items such as napkins, drink stirrers, plates, etc. Better yet-have guests bring a glass or goblet from home and supply items to decorate the glass with for a personalized holiday party favor. Check out our eco-friendly line of hemp napkins, plates and serve ware.

12.   Planning ahead can cut down on the number of trips you make to the store.  Make a list before you go and shopping on-line saves time and gas!

13.   Buy local. Purchase locally produced pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks and other natural decorations from local farmers markets. Host a neighborhood contest for the most “naturally” decorated home!

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Growing Pumpkins

A pumpkin stem.

Image via Wikipedia

Jay’s parents grow pumpkins in their garden and Colby recently got to pick two; one for him and one for Sawyer. He picked the biggest one for him and the tallest, skinniest one for Sawyer because it reminded him of his little brother.

At Halloween it is great to have home-grown pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns with. Jay’s Mom also uses the fresh pumpkin to make pies and roasts the pumpkin seeds.

What I found out about growing pumpkins:

Pumpkins are gourds. They grow on vines and need a lot of space. They also need a lot of sunshine and water to stay healthy. For most families, one or two plants would be plenty.

Pumpkins need protection from wind so a sheltered warm spot is the best. Do not plant until you are sure there are not going to be any more frosts and do not plant pumpkin plants too close together. Also, do not plant them too close to potatoes, cucumbers or squash. Watch out for plant attacking slugs and snails.

Pumpkins need to be planted on a mound. If you are starting out with plants rather than seeds, plant in early June. Be sure to pick them before the first frost in the fall.

I told Colby we could plant our own for the first time next June. He does not understand why we can not plant some now. I am afraid he is going to have a long wait.

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