Bridgeway's pumpkin smash held to reduce food waste

The Kiwanis Kids (K-Kids) Green Team at Bridgeway Elementary held its first-ever pumpkin smash on Nov. 8. For the week after Halloween, the community was invited to drop off carved and uncarved pumpkins to the school. The purpose of the event was to reduce food waste. 

The after-school club members and staff climbed up ladders and smashed the pumpkins to make compost for the Bridgeway garden and the community. 

Bridgeway Elementary has six food garden beds in front of the school and the students prepared them before the event in order to create an outdoor STEM lab. The garden beds now have pumpkin pieces of various sizes, shapes and thicknesses so students can compare and contrast the speed of the decomposition process. 

“The Pumpkin Graveyard” will be a place for all to observe up-close the stages of decomposition from fall to spring. In spring, students will turn the remaining pumpkin parts into the soil as beneficial nutrients for crops. Each garden bed will be assigned a grade level in case classrooms want to experiment with the decomposing pumpkins.

Because of the generosity of the community, 50 whole pumpkins will be donated to The Gentle Barn in Dittmer, Missouri, to feed pigs, goats, donkeys and chickens this Sunday. Twenty whole pumpkins will be donated to EarthDance Organic Farm School in Ferguson to feed their chickens, plus 252 pounds of pumpkin pieces for their compost this Saturday.

Jeanne Fernandez and Cheryl Sprengel are the Bridgeway K-Kids Green Team sponsors and Mary Kay Campbell is the Kiwanis advisor.

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