Pumpkin Fun Facts by sandymcKelvey

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									 H A L D A N E
 F A R M T O
SCHOOL
Farmer’s Choice: Wednesday, November 17th
Pumpkin Soup!
                                                                                    Pumpkin: Cucurbita pepo

How did the pumpkin get its name?
                                                                  A Taste of Pumpkin History
The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word               • Pumpkins are believed to have originated in
"pepon" meaning large melon. "Pepon" was then                 North America. Seeds from related plants
changed by the French into "pompon." The English              have been found in Mexico dating back to
                                                              7000 to 5500 B.C.
changed "pompon" to "pumpion." American colonists
                                                              • Native Americans flattened strips of pump-
changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin."                             kins, dried them and made mats. They also
                                                              roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open
                                                              fire and ate them.
                         Just the Facts                       • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for
   • Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita family             food and medicine, including for treating
                                                              snakebites!
   which includes squash and cucumbers.
                                                              • The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when
   • Pumpkins are actually the largest fruits in the world.   the American colonists sliced off the pump-
   The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140               kin top, removed the seeds, and filled the
   pounds!                                                    insides with milk, spices and honey. The
   • Pumpkins contain lots of potassium and Vitamin A.        pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.
   Potassium is important in our bodies to keep our           • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was
   muscles and nervous systems strong. Vitamin A helps        over five feet in diameter and weighed over
   our eyesight, especially night vision which helps us go    350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked
   trick-or-treating at night!                                pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs
                                                              and took six hours to bake.
   • Pumpkin flowers are edible too.
   • Pumpkins are 90 percent water.                             History of the Jack-o-Lantern
                                                              Based on an Irish myth, people in Ireland and
                                                              Scotland first began to make jack-o-lanterns
Pumpkin Riddles                                               by carving scary faces into turnips or pota-
                                                              toes and placing them into windows or near
  How do you mend a broken jack-o-lantern?
                                                              doors to frighten away Stingy Jack (an Irish
  With a pumpkin patch                                        mythical character) and other wandering evil
  What do you get when you drop a pumpkin?                    spirits. In England, large beets were used.
                                                              Immigrants from these countries brought the
  Squash                                                      jack o-lantern tradition with them when they
References:                                                   came to the United States. They soon found
www.pumpkin-patch.com
                                                              that pumpkins, which grew all over America,
www.kidshealth.org
www.farmersmarketonline.com                                   made perfect jack o-lanterns!
www.uiuc.extension.edu

								
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