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Green Tips: Fall Festivities

Green Tips | October 1, 2020

Autumn is already upon us, and with it comes many exciting seasonal activities. From picking apples to carving Jack-o-Lanterns, fall has many opportunities to get in touch with nature. It is especially important that we take in the season with sustainability in mind. Check out our tips for keeping it green even when the leaves are changing. 

Apple Picking

Apple picking has been a great way for families to bond during Autumn for centuries. There are numerous orchards around the state that provide opportunities to pick your own apples. Make sure to keep these best practices in mind to avoid damaging the orchard:

  • Pick healthy looking apples: avoid bruised, soft, or hard to remove ones.
  • Twist, don’t pull, apples to remove them.
  • Avoid using an apple picker, which can damage the tree.
  • Use your palm, not fingers, to pick the apples so you don’t bruise the fruit
  • Handle your apples with care (i.e. place them gently in your basket) to keep them from bruising
  • Avoid shaking and climbing apple trees, as this could harm them.

Pumpkin Picking

Apples aren’t the only fruit that families enjoy picking in the fall; pumpkins are also harvested and sold in large quantities. For best picking:

  • Use gloves to pick your pumpkin to keep your hands from getting cut by the prickly vines.
  • Make sure that the stem is slightly dry and that the pumpkin has ripened to its full color.
  • Make sure that the pumpkin is firm before removing it.
  • Keep some stem (up to six inches) on every pumpkin.
  • Avoid picking pumpkins up by their stems to keep the stems from coming off, which could result in early rotting.
  • Use the vine as compost, unless it is infected (in that case throw it out).

Jack-o-Lanterns & Halloween

Carving jack-o-lanterns is one of the most enjoyable Halloween traditions. For the best carving experience, follow these tips:

  • Choose a pumpkin that sounds hollow when you knock on it.
  • For safety, do not leave your jack-o-lantern unattended.
  • Do not leave the jack-o-lantern out in direct sunlight.

Halloween can be a fun holiday for all ages. While this year’s Halloween will be different, it’s still important to keep the environment in mind while celebrating. 

  • Even though the patterns and designs can be charming, avoid using disposable cups, plates, and utensils because these create extra and unnecessary waste.
  • Reuse your decorations from previous years.
  • Make your own decorations from household items.
  • Buy your costume from a thrift store, or make it using old clothes and other unused materials at home. Get creative!
  • Save your jack-o-lantern carvings and use them to make a pumpkin pie or another recipe.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Green Tips. Be sure to check out our new set of tips on yard stewardship next week!

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