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Education and environment collide to compost the Jack-O-Lantern in Missoula

Posted at 9:52 AM, Nov 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 11:52:31-04

MISSOULA — From their compost site off First Street in Missoula to Turner Farms, Soil Cycle is collecting those Halloween leftovers that we typically just throw away or let sit on our porch for way too long.

We pick that perfect pumpkin, carve it up, celebrate the holiday and now, can compost it. It is all a part of a simple life cycle, one that brings education and environment together.

“Keeping food out of the landfill is key to help our environment,” said Caitlyn Lewis, Soil Cycle executive director.

“I think for everybody to understand, really what the food cycle is all about,” added co-owner of Turner Farms, Jon Turner.

So why compost?

“Thinking about your food and anything that has nutritional value, If it's not good for human consumption is still either good for animals or for the soil,” Lewis told MTN News.

At Soil Cycle, they collect those Jack-O-Lanterns and send them to Turner Farms. From there the cycle begins: they feed the animals with pumpkin bits and then…

“What animals do after they eat?" asked Turner. "They create manure that goes into our compost pile. And that compost pile goes where? Right back on the pumpkin patch.”

Last year Turner Farms said they reharvested around 20,000 pounds of pumpkins back into their farm, which is a special treat to the animals so it only lasts the farm a couple weeks.

You can drop your pumpkins off at Soil Cycle, Turner Farms, Cara's Nursery, Rockin Rudy’s or at Southgate Mall.

The deadline to drop off pumpkins is Nov. 6 and they just ask for none with candles in them or paint.