1. Remove any non organic materials: Candles, aluminum foil, etc. These will not decompose.
2. Remove ALL pumpkin seeds: The seeds will not decompose. When you spread your compost over your gardens in the spring, you will have unwanted pumpkins growing in between your flower beds! You can't turn those into carriages, Fairy Godmother!
3. Break up the pumpkin, if desired: Most children would love to help break them up by smashing them. Just make sure they will help pick up all the pieces and put them in the compost pile.
4. Cover the pumpkins in the compost pile: Like all green material, if you want to keep away bugs, then make sure to cover them with carbon-rich materials such as sawdust, paper, or all of those dried leaves you just raked up.
Here is a recipe you can use for all of the pumpkin seeds you took out of your jack-o-lanterns.
Soaked and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
4 c Water
1 T Salt
1-3 Tbs olive oil or melted coconut oil
Spices of your choice (see spice options below for ideas)
Soak: Take your clean pumpkin seeds and place in a bowl. Cover the seeds with warm water and a bit of salt. (Use as much water and salt ratios as needed to cover the seeds.) Let seeds sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Drain: Drain the water from the pumpkin seeds and allow the seeds to dry on a baking sheet for a few hours. Alternatively you can just cook your seeds for 5-10 minutes in a 300 degree oven before moving on to the roasting part.
Roast: Toss seeds in oil and spices of your choice. Lay seeds on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Roast seeds at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Stir every 10 min.
Cayenne and salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
Chili powder, lime zest and salt
Paprika, sage, thyme and saltTry whatever you like!