Harvested in October, this nutritious and versatile orange fruit features flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins.Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is a popular Halloween tradition that originated hundreds of years ago in Ireland.Back then, however, jack-o’-lanterns were made out of turnips or potatoes; it wasn’t until Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered the pumpkin that a new Halloween ritual was born.Now pumpkins are commonly placed on stoops in the falls months, and get carved ahead of Halloween night.Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. .
10 things you probably didn't know about pumpkins
And, of course, pumpkins have become a symbol inseparable from October 31's Halloween.So, how much do you know about pumpkins?The word “pumpkin” originates from “peopon,” which means “large melon” in Greek.They range in color including orange, red, yellow and green, and they boast names like Hooligan, Cotton Candy, and Orange Smoothie.Scientists believe that pumpkins originated in North America about 9000 years ago. .
A pumpkin is a cultivar of winter squash that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and is most often deep yellow to orange in coloration.Native to North America (northeastern Mexico and the southern United States), pumpkins are one of the oldest domesticated plants, having been used as early as 7,500 to 5,000 BC. Under this theory, the term transitioned through the Latin word peponem and the Middle French word pompon to the Early Modern English pompion, which was changed to pumpkin by 17th-century English colonists, shortly after encountering pumpkins upon their arrival in what is now the northeastern United States. In North America and the United Kingdom, pumpkin traditionally refers to only certain round orange varieties of winter squash, predominantly derived from Cucurbita pepo, while in New Zealand and Australian English, the term pumpkin generally refers to all winter squash.The color of pumpkins derives from orange carotenoid pigments, including beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha and beta carotene, all of which are provitamin A compounds converted to vitamin A in the body.Characteristics commonly used to define "pumpkin" include smooth and slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange color.Giant pumpkins are large squash with a pumpkin-like appearance that grow to exceptional size, with the largest exceeding 1 ton in weight. Most are varieties of Cucurbita maxima, and were developed through the efforts of botanical societies and enthusiast farmers.Pumpkins are grown all around the world for a variety of reasons ranging from agricultural purposes (such as animal feed) to commercial and ornamental sales.In 2019, world production of pumpkins (including squash and gourds) was 23 million tonnes, with China accounting for 37% of the total.As one of the most popular crops in the United States, in 2017 over 680 million kilograms (1.5 billion pounds) of pumpkins were produced. Nestlé, operating under the brand name Libby's, produces 85% of the processed pumpkin in the United States, at their plant in Morton, Illinois.In its native North America, pumpkins are a very important, traditional part of the autumn harvest, eaten mashed and making its way into soups and purées.Often, it is made into pumpkin pie, various kinds of which are a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holidays.In Canada, Mexico, the United States, Europe and China, the seeds are often roasted and eaten as a snack.In the Indian subcontinent, pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar, and spices in a dish called kadu ka halwa.In Guangxi province, China, the leaves of the pumpkin plant are consumed as a cooked vegetable or in soups.In the southwestern United States and Mexico, pumpkin and squash flowers are a popular and widely available food item.Pumpkin leaves are also eaten in Zambia, where they are called chibwabwa and are boiled and cooked with groundnut paste as a side dish.They are about 1.5 cm (0.5 in) long, flat, asymmetrically oval, light green in color and usually covered by a white husk, although some pumpkin varieties produce seeds without them.Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack that can be found hulled or semi-hulled at most grocery stores.Per ounce serving, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.Canned pumpkin is sometimes recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats that are experiencing certain digestive ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, or hairballs.Raw pumpkin can be fed to poultry, as a supplement to regular feed, during the winter to help maintain egg production, which usually drops off during the cold months.[qualify evidence] In Germany and southeastern Europe, seeds of C. pepo were also used as folk remedies to treat irritable bladder and benign prostatic hyperplasia.[qualify evidence] In China, C.
moschata seeds were also used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis and for the expulsion of tape worms.[qualify evidence] Chinese studies have found that a combination of pumpkin seed and areca nut extracts was effective in the expulsion of Taenia spp.Traditionally Britain and Ireland would carve lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede,.They continue to be popular choices today as carved lanterns in Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the British purchased a million pumpkins for Halloween in 2004.The practice of carving pumpkins for Halloween originated from an Irish myth about a man named "Stingy Jack".In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween. In 1900, an article on Thanksgiving entertaining recommended a lit jack-o'-lantern as part of the festivities that encourage kids and families to join together to make their own jack-o'-lanterns. This has led to a notable trend in pumpkin and spice flavored food products in North America.The custom of carving jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins derives from folklore about a lost soul wandering the earth.In some adaptations of Washington Irving's ghost story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the headless horseman is said to use a pumpkin as a substitute head. .
The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon.".Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats.The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack.".The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit.In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns. .
Origin of the Giant Pumpkin – Plant Talk
Answer: Very large vegetarians like giant ground sloths, toxodons, gomphotheres, and mastodons!These megafauna went extinct during the Late Pleistocene, around 10,000 years ago, soon after humans crossed the land bridge from Asia into the Americas.These newly arrived migrants were not good vegetarians, but as their wild game disappeared, they abandoned their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and became more sedentary.But in short (and in keeping with the story at hand), the wild Curcubita were shaped by these early farmers.The gourd-like squash were selected by the early pumpkin-growers for qualities like palatability and size, along with secondary traits like softer rinds of various shapes and colors.By the time of the European Conquest, squash of up to 200 lbs (90 kg) were common in South America.This first step occurred in the 1700s when C. maxima fruits from South America reached New England and Europe.These large fruits became curiosities, most notably in 1893 where a 365-pounder from Ontario, grown by William Warnock was exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair.Best practices in cultivation are a constant source of discussion and debate among passionate giant pumpkin growers.Great care must be taken in preventing the sun from overheating one side of the fruit and causing an explosion.I will blog more about these remarkable behemoths at the Garden after they are cut open the end of this month to extract the seeds. .
Identifying and Choosing the Best Types of Pumpkins
You've seen the white ones, the green ones, the tall ones, and squat ones, but what are their names and varieties?And if you need the perfect pumpkin for carving or cooking, which type should you choose, and how do you pick a good one?Skin: This is the outside, colored part of the pumpkin.Texture: Glide your fingers across the pumpkin's skin.Size: Pretty straightforward—big, small, miniature, medium.Here are some of the most popular types of pumpkins for cooking and displays. .
History of Jack-O'-Lanterns
The connection between pumpkins and this origin is unclear though, possibly relating to Celtic traditions of carving turnips, or to young people using carved pumpkins for pranks and mischief.Who is Jack?The term jack-o'-lantern has been used in American English to describe a lantern made from a hollowed-out pumpkin since the 19th century, but the term originated in 17th-century Britain, where it was used to refer to a man with a lantern or to a night watchman.Thus, an unknown man carrying a lantern was sometimes called "Jack with the lantern" or "Jack of the lantern.".Why Carved Pumpkins?The argument might be made that immigrants drew a connection between the glow of the pumpkins to the ignis fatuus back home, but why wouldn't a similar connection have been made to the familiar hollowed-out, lit turnips earlier? .