Pumpkin

Pumpkins Pumpkin attached to a stalk

A pumpkin is a vegetable, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, that grows as a fruit (gourd) from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae). Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, as well as in English cottage gardens, Cucurbita varieties include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, or Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations.

Pumpkins and squashes

Pumpkins on sale at a Caribbean market

The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. H. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes).

Summer squashes, like pumpkins, are mostly varieties of Cucurbita pepo; if picked while immature they are eaten as summer squash or marrow, but if left to mature on the vine will form a hard fruit like winter squash. Winter squashes are either C. maxima or C. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. The varieties of pumpkins and squashes are numerous and great variety in size and shape; it is difficult to keep them pure if various kinds are grown together, but the true squashes (C. maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. pepo) species. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months.

Wagon full of pumpkins

Studies by the Royal Military College of Canada show promise for pumpkins and other members of the Cucurbita pepo family to be viable candidates for DDT phytoremediation. (see Scientific American, October 25, 2004)

Cultivation

Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees today. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem of abortion tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide.

Placing honeybees for pumpkin pollination Mohawk Valley, NY

Pumpkins are grown today in the US more for decoration than for food, and popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle.

Cooking

When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked and roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow.

Wikibooks Cookbook has more about this subject: Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Mashed pumpkin


Chunking

Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chunkers grow special varieties of pumpkin, which are bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving being thrown.

Pumpkin seeds

The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. One of the typical pumpkin products of Austria is pumpkin seed oil.

Pumpkin trivia

  • The pumpkin is related to the cucumber.
  • The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 lb (666 kg). Raised by Larry Checkon from Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania in 2005, it is technically a "squash," Cucurbita maxima, and was of the public variety "Atlantic Giant," which is the "giant" variety - culminated from the simple hubbard squash by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the mid 1800's.
  • Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.
  • Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. All Hallows Eve on 31 October marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year, and on that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with a candle inside were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called "Stingy Jack," hence the name "Jack-o'-lantern".
  • The town of Keene, New Hampshire currently holds the world record for the most lit pumpkins in one location.
  • 90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o'-lanterns.
  • Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state in the United States.
  • Pumpkins were among the first foods from the "New World" adopted in Europe, probably due to a European cousin: Lagenaria
  • "Pumpkin" is sometimes used as an affectionate term, often referring to one's significant other. For example: "I love you, Pumpkin!"

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One of the typical pumpkin products of Austria is pumpkin seed oil. However, modern Jews prefer to play pranks on April Fools' day. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. In Judaism, the traditional day of pranks, hoaxes and mockery is Purim. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. It is believed that people should go out on this date in order to escape the bad luck of number 13. The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. This day is called "Sizdah bedar" (Out-door thirteen).

Some pumpkin chunkers grow special varieties of pumpkin, which are bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving being thrown. In Iran, people play jokes on each other on April 3, the 13th day of the Persian calendar new year (Norooz). Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. The Flemish tradition is for children to lock out their parents or teachers, only letting them in if they promise to bring treats the same evening or the next day. Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. This custom also exists in certain areas of Belgium, including the province of Antwerp.
. In Spanish-speaking countries, similar pranks are practiced on December 28, the Day of the Holy Innocents.

When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked and roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow. The April 1 tradition in France includes poisson d'avril (literally "April's fish"), attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle. They told the truth on the following week's show, where outtakes of Redknapp messing up his lines were also shown. Pumpkins are grown today in the US more for decoration than for food, and popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown.
. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem of abortion tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide. The advent of the Internet as a worldwide communications medium has also assisted the pranksters in their work.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Even normally serious news media consider April Fools' Day hoaxes fair game, and spotting them has become an annual pastime. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate. Many media organizations have either unwittingly or deliberately propagated hoaxes on April Fools' Day. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. Children born on this day will experience good luck in most matters, except when it comes to gambling. Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees today. It is believed that marriage on April Fools' Day is inadvisable for a man, for he will be permanently ruled by his wife.

(see Scientific American, October 25, 2004). It is said that one fooled by a pretty girl will later marry, or at least become friends, with her. Studies by the Royal Military College of Canada show promise for pumpkins and other members of the Cucurbita pepo family to be viable candidates for DDT phytoremediation. Anyone who fails to respond with a sense of humor to the tricks played on them is also said to be liable to suffer bad luck. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months. This stipulation may have been contrived by annoyed parents and school teachers wanting a respite from a full day of pranks. pepo) species. Those done afterwards are supposed to bring bad luck to the perpetrator.

maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. Traditionally, pranks are to be performed before noon. The varieties of pumpkins and squashes are numerous and great variety in size and shape; it is difficult to keep them pure if various kinds are grown together, but the true squashes (C. A far more natural explanation would seem to be that the April fish would be a young fish and therefore easily caught. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. This has been explained from the association of ideas arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. maxima or C. In France the person befooled is known as poisson d'avril.

Winter squashes are either C. In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk," i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were "April-gowks," the cuckoo being there, as it is in most lands, a term of contempt. Summer squashes, like pumpkins, are mostly varieties of Cucurbita pepo; if picked while immature they are eaten as summer squash or marrow, but if left to mature on the vine will form a hard fruit like winter squash. Though the 1st of April appears to have been anciently observed in Great Britain as a general festival, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes). Well before 1582 when King Charles IX of France brought in the new Gregorian calendar, French and Dutch references from respectively 1508 and 1539 describe April Fool's Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April. H. However, it is unlikely that this explanation of April Fool's Day’s origin is correct.

The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair butts for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April. The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. They were the first nation to adopt the reformed Gregorian calendar, Charles IX in 1564 decreeing that the year should begin with the 1st of January. . It has been plausibly suggested that Europe derived its April-fooling from the French [1]. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last day of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands.

Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an immemorial custom in India. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. What seems certain is that it is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year's day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. The origin of this custom has been much disputed, and many theories have been suggested, e.g. that it is a farcical commemoration of Christ being sent from Annas to Caiaphas, from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate, the crucifixion having taken place about the 1st of April. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. .

Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, as well as in English cottage gardens, Cucurbita varieties include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, or Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends and neighbours, or sending them on fools' errands, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. A pumpkin is a vegetable, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, that grows as a fruit (gourd) from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae). April Fool's Day or All Fools' Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. For example: "I love you, Pumpkin!". There have been cases when a hoax in a newspaper caused many readers to send mail to a nonexistent address, causing problems at postal sorting offices. "Pumpkin" is sometimes used as an affectionate term, often referring to one's significant other. That prank, repeated across many people, causes serious problems for zoos' telephone exchanges.

Pumpkins were among the first foods from the "New World" adopted in Europe, probably due to a European cousin: Lagenaria. Fant (or various others) at a number that turns out to be a zoo. Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state in the United States. E. 90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o'-lanterns. L. The town of Keene, New Hampshire currently holds the world record for the most lit pumpkins in one location. Lion or Mr.

All Hallows Eve on 31 October marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year, and on that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with a candle inside were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called "Stingy Jack," hence the name "Jack-o'-lantern". C. Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. One type of April Fool's Day hoax is to leave a message telling someone to telephone Mr. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body. 1 April, 2005. Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. 1 April, 2004.

Raised by Larry Checkon from Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania in 2005, it is technically a "squash," Cucurbita maxima, and was of the public variety "Atlantic Giant," which is the "giant" variety - culminated from the simple hubbard squash by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the mid 1800's. 1 April, 2002. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 lb (666 kg). Redknapp was being 'interviewed' on the training ground where his goalkeepers were getting to grips with bigger goals. The pumpkin is related to the cucumber. Using West Ham United manager, Harry Redknapp, the report claimed that the size of the goals would increase by two feet in height and four feet in length. Mashed pumpkin. The BBC's Saturday lunchtime show 'Football Focus' broadcast a piece centred on the upcoming change of the size of goals.

Pumpkin pie. Seattle area TV program Almost Live! set up a phony broadcast room and dressed actors as TV anchors to pull an April Fool's joke of legendary proportions. Pumpkin soup. The Space Needle collapsed in a windstorm on April 1st, 1985. It was later announced at the Sea FM dance party that it was a hoax. This left a huge number of under 21s angry and frustrated, and incited protests.

Change of drinking age: On the Gold Coast, Australia's biggest tourist destination (particularly amongst school leavers), radio station Sea FM announced the drinking age would be changed from 18 to 21. The station played pop songs until 7:00 am, when Stern came back on. Cancellation of the Howard Stern Show: The April 1st, 2004 show started off with an announcement by the station manager stating that due to increased pressure from the FCC, Viacom had cancelled the Howard Stern Show. Shuttle landing: In 1993, a San Diego radio station fooled many listeners into believing that the space shuttle had been diverted from Edwards Air Force Base and was about to make an emergency landing at a small local airport.

He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience "a strange floating sensation." Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked. that day. Defy Gravity: In 1976 British astronomer Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. Mainstream media (including Channel 9's Today Show) picked up the story.

New South Wales Premier Bob Carr was also in on the joke. Sydney Olympics: Australian radio station Triple J breakfast show co-host Adam Spencer announced in 1999 that he had a journalist on the line at the site of a secret IOC meeting and that Sydney had lost the 2000 Summer Olympics. This hoax can also be considered a parody of late 1990s media consolidations.). New Format: Radio station KFOG in San Francisco, claiming new corporate ownership, switched to a new format - the best 15 seconds of every song! All morning they mixed in bogus calls from perky listeners calling with compliments.

Both DJs were later jailed for creating a public nuisance. Several police were needed to deal with traffic gridlock and enraged listeners who threatened to harm the DJs responsible. Free Concert: Radio station 98.1 KISS in Chattanooga, Tennessee falsely announced in 2003 that rapper Eminem would be doing a free show in a discount store parking lot. The pair were fired shortly thereafter.

The rumor spread quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. Menino happened to be on a flight at the time, lending truth to the prank as he could not be reached. Death of a Mayor: In 1998, local shock jocks Opie and Anthony reported that Boston mayor Thomas Menino had been killed in a car accident. Google's hoaxes.

April 1st RFC. "Uninventing the wheel" to counter the "EU ban" on right-hand drive cars. Marque-Wiper - mini-wipers for each exterior "BMW" logo coming as standard on all future models ,. SHEF ("Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration") Technology, which sees the car's GPS systems synchronise with home appliances to perfectly cook a meal for the instant you return home ,.

IDS ("Insect Deflector Screen") Technology - using elastic solutions to bounce insects off the windscreen as you drive. MINI cars being used in upcoming space missions to Mars,. The "Toot and Calm Horn", which calms rather than aggravates other drivers, so reducing the risk of road rage,. Annual BMW Innovations see a new "cutting-edge invention" by BMW advertised across British newspapers every year , examples including:

    .

    China Decapitates Taiwan: In 2005, an undergraduate nicknamed SkyMirage, who was well-known in Taiwan for his humor, fabricated a series of news that China's airforce was bombarding Office of President, Taiwan. He was charged for this incident. The rumor, which was intended as an April Fool's prank, was started by a student by imitating the design of Ming Pao newspaper website. The Hong Kong government held a press conference to deny the rumor.

    Hong Kong supermarkets were immediately overwhelmed by panicked shoppers. SARS Infects Hong Kong: In 2003 it was rumored that many people in Hong Kong had become infected with SARS, that all immigration ports would be closed to quarantine the region, and that Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong at that time, had resigned. The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks." The Canadian dollar dropped to its lowest level in a month before Martin's office debunked the hoax. It should be noted that in Norway alcohol is relatively expensive and has limited availability due to government legislation.

    That morning staff were met by about 200 men & women with bottles, buckets, and other suitable vessels for carrying the prized goods. The inhabitants of Bergen were invited to the main store in town to receive their share of the goods, rather than spill good wine down the drain. Free wine for all:The Norwegian newspaper "Bergens Tidende" announced in 1987 that the state alcohol monopoly had 10,000 litres of confiscated smuggler-wine. VeryCD: This P2Pweb site, one of the largest in China, announced in 2005 that it had ceased operation without specifing a cause.

    Another year, TVM announced that Malta would adopt the European continent convention of driving on the right-hand side of the road. National Television Station (TVM) in Malta: In 1995, TVM announced the discovery of a new underground prehistoric temple with a mummy. Several media outlets fell for the hoax. The original series is widely considered to be one of the worst sitcoms ever produced.

    The Trouble with Tracy: In 2003, The Comedy Network in Canada announced that it would be producing and airing a remake of the 1970s Canadian sitcom The Trouble with Tracy. The 1997 switch was particularly widespread. Cartoonists have done this sort of "switcheroo" in several years. In some cases, the artist draws characters in the other strip's milieu, while in others, the artist draws in characters from other visiting characters from his own.

    Comic strip switcheroo: Cartoonists of popularly syndicated comic strips draw each others' strips. White's position was filled by Sajak's wife Leslie. In addition to Sajak hosting Jeopardy!, he and co-host Vanna White appeared as contestants on the episode of Wheel hosted by Trebek. Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy! Double Switch: In 1997, Pat Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune, traded hosting duties with Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek for one show.

    Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s. Assassination of Bill Gates: Many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated. This kid, known as "Barefoot" Sidd[hartha] Finch, reportedly learned to pitch in a Buddhist monastery. Sidd Finch: George Plimpton wrote a 1985 article in Sports Illustrated about a New York Mets prospect who could throw a 168 mph fastball with pinpoint accuracy.

    Within a few hours, aluminium foil was sold out throughout the country. Wrapping Televisions in Foil: In another year, the Dutch television news reported that the government had new technology to detect unlicensed televisions (in many European countries, television licence fees fund public broadcasting), but that wrapping a television in aluminium foil could prevent its detection. Many shocked and even mourning people contacted the station. Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported once in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen.

    Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Metric time: Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to a one where units of time vary by powers of 10. FBI Crackdowns on On-line File Sharing of Music: Such announcements on April Fools Day have become common.

    Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that sans serif did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. San Serriffe: The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Kremvax: In 1984, in one of the earliest on-line hoaxes, a message was circulated that Usenet had been opened to users in the Soviet Union. Weekly printed an entire page of fake things to do on April Fools day, which hundreds of people were suckered in by.

    Lies to Get You Out of the House In 1985, the L.A. Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied with tongue in cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial. Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out the right side. A lot of people wanted spaghetti trees of their own.

    Spaghetti trees: The BBC television program Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.

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