Halloween may be a distant memory but, if you’re like us, you probably still have the odd pumpkin knocking around, especially if you're making pumpkin pie to celebrate Thanksgiving. Pumpkin and roasted tomato soup is one of Cally’s favourites at this time of year. She takes a flask of it to the allotment to sustain her when she’s doing a bit of winter tidying. Of course you can compost the pumpkin shells but why not put it to good use first as a natural bird feeder to sustain the birds in winter? Then,when it’s done stalwart service for a second time, toss it onto the compost heap.
It’s an easy make for most children or adults.
1. Cut a medium pumpkin in half across its equator, scoop out the seeds and some flesh but leave behind a wall of pumpkin flesh, around 2cm thick. Poke a few holes in to the base of the pumpkin half to let rainwater drain out.
2. Cut a deep groove in the rim. Push the pumpkin seeds into the rim, making an attractive and edible border.
3. If you don’t want the seed to spill out, line with a couple of sheets of newspaper.
4. Poke a hole into the pumpkin skin using a skewer and push a dowel through from one end to the other to create a perch for robins, blackbirds and sparrows. Poke a second dowel through the pumpkin so it crosses just under the first dowel.
5. Cut some twine into four equal lengths. Tie a strand to each dowel. Then tie the loose ends together in a large knot at the top.
6. Fill the pumpkin with birdseed, and then hang it up outside.
That’s it. A bird feeder in compostable packaging.
Sit back, sip your soup and watch the birds.