Columbia Star

Plants for Halloween

Consider incorporating some plant-based traditions in your Halloween celebration this year.

Pumpkins are usually the fruit associated with Halloween. This fall tradition dates back several centuries to a man nicknamed Stingy Jack.

The Irish myth says Jack made a deal with the devil and tricked him into not claiming his soul. When Jack died, God would not allow him into heaven and the devil would not allow him into hell. Instead, the devil sent him into the night with just a burning coal.

Jack placed the coal in a carved-out turnip and is said to still be roaming the earth. The Irish began referring to him as Jack of the lantern and eventually Jack O’ lantern.

Folks began carving and placing turnips and potatoes in their windows to scare away Stingy Jack. When the Irish arrived in the U.S., they discovered pumpkins made the perfect Jack O’ lanterns. The tradition continues to this day.

Surprise your family and friends with a few carved turnips and potatoes in your windows this year. Or make some scary apple heads to include in your Halloween display. This First Nations tradition was picked up by the settlers and is now a part of American folk art. All you need are a couple apples, one half cup lemon juice, two tablespoons salt, a bowl of water, pencil, and knife. Just draw the outline of the face on the apple and carve. Soak in the lemony solution for 10 minutes and let it dry.

Or put away the knives and break out that collection of broken crayons and a hairdryer to make a crayon dipped pumpkin. Glue the crayon pieces to the top of the pumpkin and melt them with a hairdryer. Cover the table as the melted wax may drip onto the surface.

And be sure to hang some garlic by the door or around your neck to keep away the vampires and possibly some of your friends this Halloween.

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