The 11th Annual Pumpkin Smash: Insanity In The Name Of Composting

So, Idaho Springs, CO is one of the wildest places I’ve ever lived. I lived in Dallas for four years and witnessed an active break-in across the street wherein the suspect was hanging out of a second-story window claiming, “I’M INNOCENT! I’M INNOCENT!” while a half-dozen armed officers watched and yelled back at him from the front yard. But somehow, Idaho Springs is even more buck wild than that.

Anyway, Scraps-to-Soil, a neighborhood composting group, puts on the Pumpkin Smash each year. (They’re rebuilding our community garden right now and I am PSYCHED! It’s coming along so quickly!) The idea of the Pumpkin Smash is that Idaho Springs and the surrounding areas will bring their used jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins from Halloween to the event and SMASH them with all the unbelievable tools available. From the mild and common baseball bat to the homemade long-arm smasher hooked to the back of a tow truck, the community can smash and destroy as much as they want.


When the smashin’ is done, instead of ending up in the landfill, the remains are composted and recycled. (Wonder if some of this compost will end up in our community garden?) NPR claims that about one-fifth of the 1.91 billion (!!!) pumpkins grown each year are actually eaten, which means the other four-fifths emit a shit-ton of greenhouse gas emissions in the landfill. In short, es no bueno. Plus, I just like beatin’ shit up.

The pumpkin remains of The Pumpkin Smash
Discarded jack-o-lanterns at The Pumpkin Smash

But because I’m an idiot and didn’t listen to Ben, we didn’t BYOP (pumpkins) and didn’t get to smash. Probably should’ve actually *read* the event deets. BUT, getting to watch an eight-year-old redhead go absolutely APESHIT on a pumpkin pinata completely made my entire day and I hope she is reincarnated as my child someday. (Redheads are the sHiT.) So instead, we walked around, drank beers and posed in front of squash carcasses.

Beers from sponsor TommyKnockers at The Pumpkin Smash
Posing casually in front of pumpkin remains.

To put this in perspective, Idaho Springs only has about 1,700 residents so the fact that something so, frankly, progressive happens here, and has happened here for eleven straight years, makes me proud to live here. However, mountain towns are wildly different from your average small, American town. We’ve got a doctor’s office, a dentist, a vet, a grocery store, multiple gas stations, fast food and Starbucks, an active main street with happenin’ bars, five dispensaries, a chiropractor, shopping and several natural tourist attractions. The small town of the same size I grew up in has a fraction of these things!

In short, this is such a genius and simultaneously wacky idea. But, I guess that’s Idaho Springs.

What do you think? Genius? Insane? Would you smash a pumpkin? Let me know and maybe promote this in *your* city! Let’s reduce, reuse, recycle, Rihanna, people.