We guessed that pumpkin is a vegetable but we found out that it is really a fruit. The most common pumpkins we use for Halloween are light bright orange,but there are so many other colors of pumpkins available, pink, green, tan, white, blue, and yes red! These varieties have fun names like sugar treat and baby boo. Pumpkins are not only beautiful for decorating in the fall, they are a great source of vitamin A and B. Even though they are made up of 90% water they are high in fiber too. The pumpkin is packed with great tasting nutrients!
Pumpkins are usually planted in the middle of small mounds in full sun. They like at least 6 hours of sun light a day. Plant your seed in the ground after the temperature gets into the 70′s during the day. A good tip is to soak your seeds overnight before you plant them. Cover your seeds with about 1 inch of soil so the birds can’t find it! Your soil should be kept damp but not wet. We grew our own pumpkins for Halloween this year and one thing we learned is that the vines are prickly, so you really need gloves if you are going to prune and train the vines. It is so fun to pick them right out of the garden when we are ready to carve our jack o’lanterns. The pumpkin is the largest fruit, wouldn’t it be fun to try and grow a giant pumpkin!
Native American Indians were growing and eating pumpkins centuries before the pilgrims arrived. Soon after pilgrims began growing, eating, and creating recipes that included pumpkin. In researching the pumpkin we learned in early colonial times pumpkin was an ingredient in the crust of a pie not the filling. We are happy to say that it has evolved into the filling and is one of the tastiest pies ever invented. Pumpkins are used in soups, stews, bread, pies, pudding, ice cream, and lets not forget the wonderful seeds of the pumpkin. Toasted pumpkin seeds are easy to make and even easier to eat. So get out there and make a tasty recipe from the incredible pumpkin. Share with us some of your favorite pumpkin recipes.
Photo by Meg Smith Photography