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How to recycle your pumpkins and help a local farmer

Here’s what you can do with your leftover pumpkins and how they could help out a local farmer in Columbia.

Pumpkin

Pro tip: Most farmers won’t take painted, moldy, or bleached pumpkins. | Photo by Cayce Farmer’s Market

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Now that Halloween is over, you may want to trade your pumpkin decor for tinsel and garland. Don’t throw it away just yet — surrounding farms could use your help.

Maybe you have some uncarved pumpkins sitting on your porch that you used for decorations. Fun fact: You can donate them to local farmers. Many animals, including chickens, pigs, and goats, love feasting on pumpkins.

Feeding pumpkins to animals not only provides enrichment but also saves on the cost of feed for farmers. Check out how Cola’s own Riverbanks Zoo used pumpkins as enrichment this season.

Consider contacting + donating your pumpkins and gourds to one of these five local farms:

SeMoJo Homestead

Fun fact: SeMoJo Homesteaders shared with me that pumpkin acts as a natural dewormer for animals. | Photo via

Crazy Chic Heritage Farms, 450 Kenal Rd., Ridgeway

This farm offers meats, chickens, produce, and education for those looking to begin their own farm journey. All of their animals grub on pumpkins. Message them on Facebook for drop-off.

Doko Farm, 2101 Cedar Creek Rd., Blythewood

This local farm feeds pumpkins to a slew of animals each year. Pro tip: Email or text before dropping off your pumpkin. Also, plan ahead for its annual Harvest Market and Guided Tour event happening on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sal’s Ol’ Timey Feed & Seed, 113 Hilltop Dr., Columbia

This farm looks to educate and propagate. Shop local produce, or purchase some of its seasonal seeds and learn how to grow your own food by attending one of its classes.

Call Sal or reach out on Facebook to donate your pumpkins.

Fabel Farms, 1208 Hinnants Store Rd., Winnsboro

Just 25 minutes from Cola, Fabel Farms sells heritage Delaware chicken eggs weekly throughout the year, and their chickens love pumpkins. Contact Julie + Josh for pumpkin drop off.

SeMoJo Homestead, Lexington County

This local farm educates locals and beyond on how to homestead and as of last year, was able to raise + grow about 80% of what they consume. This family documents everything on its YouTube to educate and share homesteading knowledge. Reach out on Facebook for more information and donations.

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