EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 2, 2012

Garden-inspired pumpkin decorating

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

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Carving a pumpkin can get a little nerve-wracking for parents with small children. Using knives and scraping out pumpkins can be a dangerous, and quite messy, activity. Novelist and food blogger Jane Ward shares a safe and fun alternative to decorating pumpkins.

Inspired by some leftover fruits and vegetables found in her home, Ward suggests using such leftovers to decorate pumpkins this season.

“It’s a great project to get kids involved with. No knives, nothing sharp and no carving,” says Ward, of Amesbury.

Just like carving a pumpkin, the possibilities are endless for what kind of character you can create. Ward highly encourages you to get creative with the fruits and vegetables you use for your pumpkin’s features. From cucumbers and carrots to apples and radishes, don’t be afraid to experiment and make your pumpkin really come alive.

Pumpkin decorating


Pumpkin of any shape and size


Various types of fruits and vegetables. In this video, Jane Ward uses parsnips, asparagus, apples and collard greens. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity and experiment with different fruits and vegetables.


1. Establish which side of the pumpkin you would like to use to as the face.

2. Begin by establishing where your main features (ie, eyes, nose, mouth) will be. Once you have decided, pierce the fruit or vegetable with a toothpick. (note: depending on how heavy your fruit or vegetable may be, you might need more than one toothpicks)

3. Begin to place your extra features also using toothpicks. For hair, Ward uses collard greens, but you could use broccoli florets or maybe even some twigs or vines.


Recipe courtesy of Jane Ward, 2012.