A metal bat and a sledgehammer were the two means offered to visitors to smash their pumpkins in Isla Vista on Thursday.
The Isla Vista Compost Collective hosted its first-ever Pumpkin Smash at the Isla Vista Community Center.
“I think the idea is just fun, sort of to get the community involved in composting,” said Carly Marto, program manager for the Isla Vista Compost Collective.
Food scraps and organic material break down easier the smaller they are, Marto said. Smashing the pumpkins helps with the decomposition process that takes place in order for them to turn into compost.
“The smaller the pieces, the better, the faster it will break down,” Marto said. “So it does help speed up the composting process when we smash the pumpkins.”
Additionally, according to Marto, Isla Vista has a tradition of smashing pumpkins in the street.
Marto said smashing pumpkins in a designated location in the community center can “still give people that outlet, but be sure that we’re keeping our streets clean, and that we’re able to make compost out of our smashed pumpkins.”
After the pumpkins are smashed, members of the Isla Vista Compost Collective collect them and bring them to compost piles to be mixed with leaves and other brown dry material, Marto said. Then, “let the worms go at it.”
The Isla Vista Compost Collective is part of the Isla Vista Community Services District and was started in 2017.
The collective’s members pick up compost from homes in Isla Vista and bring them to the two composting sites in the district, at University United Methodist Church and at Saint Michael’s University Church. There are five locations in total in and around Isla Vista where people can drop off food scraps to be composted.
Santa Maria plans to hold a Pumpkin Smashing event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. Attendees can bring their own pumpkins to throw into a collection bin or aim at targets on the ground. The event is free and will be held at the Town Center West parking lot near Broadway (Highway 135) and Cook Street.
— Noozhawk staff writer Grace Kitayama can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.