Halloween will be here before you know if and most of us will have a pumpkin of some sort to help us celebrate the day. If you plan on having a real pumpkin rather than a plastic pumpkin, you might consider what to do with it once Halloween is over.

The first thing to consider is what you’ve done with the pumpkin. If you plan on coloring or painting your Jack O Lantern this year, you have quite a few different ways to repurpose your Halloween pumpkin. Of course, the most common thing to do after Halloween is to eat it. That might mean removing the seeds and drying them in the oven or turning the flesh into pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ice cream or pumpkin pie. The possibilities are almost endless.

If you are planning on carving your Jack O Lantern, that limits the number of things you can do with it after Halloween. Of course, you should still dry the pumpkin seeds when you carve it. They make a great snack for you and the kids. After Halloween is over, you won’t want to eat the pumpkin after it’s been sitting outside carved but you can put it in the corner of your yard for the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels to snack on as the weather gets colder.

Another option is to simply put the pumpkin in your compost pile and let it decompose over the winter. If you are very lucky, you will have a fresh batch of pumpkins growing in that spot in the summer. Or, if you have mild winters, you can place a potted plant inside the pumpkin and use it as a decoration on your front porch. Just turn the “face” of the pumpkin toward the house so no one sees it after Halloween.

Remember, if you don’t carve your pumpkin but don’t need all of the pumpkin to cook or bake with, you can always share with friends. There are also food shelves and shelters that accept food donations. That way, they can use your excess to help feed those in need.