School farm seeks post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns

With Nov. 1 just around the corner, South Whidbey School Farms is urging people to consider donating their jack-o’-lanterns to science, rather than the garbage bin.

The decomposing pumpkins will be used as part of season-end classes for South Whidbey students, who will study the rotting gourds and their life cycle.

Old Halloween pumpkins will be collected Nov. 1-10 and can be placed in the blue pickup truck at the K-4 North Campus or in a yellow cart at the 5-6 South Campus of South Whidbey Elementary School.

The pumpkins will be arranged in a spiral in an open field, a tradition that began last year. Kids will walk through the spiral and learn about the aging gourds.

School Farms Manager Cary Peterson said it is fun to see an emerging pattern in the grass where the pumpkins are fertilizing the meadow.

“The students watch the pumpkins decompose over time and the children really love to see how they disappear,” she said. “It takes months for them to decompose so it’s a great lesson through the spring.”

Additionally, the carved fruits become part of math lessons.

For more information about South Whidbey School Farms, visit Questions or alternate drop-off times can be discussed by emailing