Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!
If you are looking for pumpkin facts and information and want to learn about pumpkins you’ve come to the right place!
What exactly is a pumpkin? A vegetable? No. A fruit? Yes! A fruit is defined as being the part of the plant which contains seeds. The average pumpkin contains about a cup of seeds, so they are most definitely a fruit.
There is something magical about a pumpkin. It is hard to look at a pumpkin and not smile. They are good for both your body and your spirit. What could be more fun to plant, nurture, harvest, eat and enjoy than a pumpkin?
A Rainbow of Colors & Shapes Pumpkins come in a multitude of colors, shapes and sizes. On our farm we grow White “ghost”, yellow, blue, giant and even multi-colored striped pumpkins. They can be tiny, flat, short, tall, round, pear, necked, smooth, ribbed and even warty. Some pumpkins are fabulous for culinary uses. Some pumpkins are more suited to being carved.
The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word Pepõn which means large melon. The word gradually morphed by the French, English and then Americans into the word “pumpkin.” Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas. These early pumpkins were not the traditional round orange upright Jack-O-Lantern fruit we think of today when you hear the word pumpkin. They were a crooked neck variety which stored well.
Early Native Americans roasted pumpkin strips over campfires and used them as a food source, long before the arrival of European explorers. Pumpkins helped The Native Americans make it through long cold winters. They used the sweet flesh in numerous ways: roasted, baked, parched, boiled and dried. They ate pumpkin seeds and also used them as a medicine. The blossoms were added to stews.
Dried pumpkin could be stored and ground into flour.
They dried the shells and used them as bowls and containers to store grain, beans and seeds. I have read where they pounded and dried the pumpkin flesh into strips, and wove the strips into mats which they used for trading purposes.
It is said that Columbus carried pumpkin seeds back with him to Europe. There they were used to feed pigs, but not as a human food source.