There are many reasons why I love to grow them. They are easy for one thing. It may be where I live, but growing pumpkins in Utah hasn't been that difficult. You just place seeds in the ground and as long as you water it (and the squash bugs don't consume the plants) you should end up with some fun decorations for Halloween and maybe even Thanksgiving. As usual, in honor of these awesome fruits (yes they are fruits) here are a few fun facts:
- Pumpkins are grown primarily for processing with a small percentage grown for ornamental sales through you-pick farms, farmers' market and retail sales.
- Around 90 to 95% of the processed pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois.
- Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.
- Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
- Pumpkin flowers are edible.
- Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
- Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits.
- Pumpkins originated in Central America.
- In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
- Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
- Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.
- This year's largest pumpkin weighs a whopping 1810 pounds!! (Picture at top)
- The name pumpkin originated from "pepon" – the Greek word for "large melon."
- The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.
- Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
- Pumpkins are fruit. See I told you! :)
- Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.
- Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
- Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.
A couple of other reasons I personally love them is because they spread easily and cover a large area with beautiful green leaves. I use them in my front flower bed for just this reason. I also love pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, and the pumpkin spice smell. It's a very essential part of Autumn for me. Stay tuned for my next blog which covers one of our favorite things to do in October which is pumpkin carving. My husband is a pro!
Until next time!
Here's a new set of Fall magnets!