Pumpkin-carving season is over, and it will soon be pumpkin-pie-eating season (aka Thanksgiving).

I salute the hardy few who make pumpkin pie from actual pumpkins, but for most folks, once Halloween is past, pumpkins are unwanted.

Here on Miles Smith Farm, there is another pumpkin season between carving and eating. That's pumpkin-smashing season. Let me explain. My cattle love to eat unwanted pumpkins, whether they are unsold surplus or whole pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns donated by friends of the farm. But cattle have no upper front teeth, so they don't have the chomping power needed to open a whole pumpkin. So those pumpkins must be smashed!

Throw a pumpkin to the ground, and most likely, it will bounce, unbroken, and roll away. But slam it onto a concrete floor, and it will break open, exposing its guts. Then it's pinata time for the cattle. The seeds and the gooey, stringy stuff are like candy to them, although they enjoy the pumpkin shell, too.

Any vandal will tell you that smashing pumpkins is lots of fun. It relieves feelings of anger, anxiety, or frustration. And let's face it; lately, we've been experiencing all three. So you are invited to come to our farm to smash some pumpkins. You can pretend they represent the Covid-19 virus, or your least-favorite presidential candidate, or just the year 2020 in general. You'll feel better, and my Scottish Highlanders and Angus cattle will love you for it.

So if you don't know what to do with your chemical-free pumpkins, bring them to the farm and smash them on-site. Jack-O-Lanterns (without candles) are also popular, carved or not. Smashing is welcome on Wed. from 1-5 p.m. and Thur.-Sat. 10-5 p.m. (please wear a mask and social distance.) It's a rare situation when smashing something can be an act of kindness!


Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, N.H., where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com.

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