14. Nov, 2021

Pumpkin Rescue at Stokes Wood

Every year  about 42% of people in the UK buy pumpkins  but  the flesh is eaten in only  33% of those pumpkins  that are carved to make lanterns. 18.000 tonnes of pumpkins are thrown  away with 25% of these being  thrown into the waste bin, 20% go onto the food waste collection, with  only 19% being  composted.

To encourage people to reduce their waste Stokes Wood allotments have held their annual  Pumpkin Rescue and Smash event to reduce the number being  sent to landfill where methane is produced during   decomposition. This year the event was more topical than usual as it coincided with COP26 where future methane reduction was being  promised.

There was a larger than expected response with  over  two hundred pumpkins being  donated by local schools, pubs  and individuals to be smashed  and composted on the allotment community composting plot. The  site was  opened to local families invited to smash the pumpkins  with  pumpkin pieces  being  layered into  four of our pallet bins and  eight   of our plastic home composting bins as well as a Hotbin. The resultant compost will be  used by Society members as a mulch on their plots.

In the interest of safety younger children where restricted to using wood smashing tools but this did not prevent them from splashing pumpkin over themselves, their parents and anything that did not move quickly enough. For the first time this year about eighty whole pumpkins were delivered mixed with those that had been  carved, so next year we will operate a separate “food”  stream for whole pumpkins that will offered to community fridges and food banks.