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. The holiday was not officially recognized until the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1972. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. Congress, however, was mindful that passing a measure so favorable to males could be seen as a conflict of interest. The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. The all-male U.S.

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. Woodrow Wilson was personally so feted by his family in 1916, and Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.
. Although she initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June.

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. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. 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. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent raised his six children in Spokane, Washington. 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. Sonora Smart Dodd. 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. In the United States, the driving force behind the establishment of the celebration of Father's Day was Mrs.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Countries with other celebration dates:. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate. The following countries celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday of June:. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. . 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. Retailers sell male-oriented gifts such as hardware and tools.

(see Scientific American, October 25, 2004). In recent years, it is notable how rising consumerism has overtaken the true meaning of the holiday. 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. In the Roman Catholic tradition, Father's Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, though in most countries Father's Day is a secular celebration. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months. Father's Day exists almost all over the world to honor and commemorate fathers or forefathers. pepo) species. Father's Day is celebrated at differing times through the year, as seen below.

maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. Typically giving gifts to fathers and celebrating as a family is the main event of the day. 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. Father's Day is a holiday to celebrate fatherhood and parenting by males, just as Mother's Day celebrates motherhood. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. (Source: The Book of Useless Information, page 240, published 2002.). maxima or C. More reverse charge (collect) calls are made on Father's Day than any other day.

Winter squashes are either C. Taiwan: August 8

. 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. Thailand: December 5, birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes). Slovakia: the third Sunday in June. H. Russia: February 23 (Army day).

The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. Portugal, Spain, Italy: March 19. The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. Poland: June 23. . Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia: the second Sunday in November. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations. New Zealand: the first Sunday in September.

Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. Malaysia: the third week in June. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Lithuania: the first Sunday in June. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. Korea, South: May 8, Parents' Day. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. Germany: on Ascension Day

.

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. Denmark: June 5, same day as Constitution Day. 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). Bulgaria: June 20. For example: "I love you, Pumpkin!". Brazil: the second Sunday in August. "Pumpkin" is sometimes used as an affectionate term, often referring to one's significant other. Belgium: St Joseph's day (which is March 19), and the second Sunday in June ("Secular").

Pumpkins were among the first foods from the "New World" adopted in Europe, probably due to a European cousin: Lagenaria. Australia: the first Sunday in September. Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state in the United States. Austria: second Sunday in June. 90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o'-lanterns. Venezuela. The town of Keene, New Hampshire currently holds the world record for the most lit pumpkins in one location. Peru.

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". United States. Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. United Kingdom. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body. Turkey. Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. Netherlands.

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. Mexico. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 lb (666 kg). Malta. The pumpkin is related to the cucumber. Macao S.A.R. Mashed pumpkin. Japan.

Pumpkin pie. India. Pumpkin soup. Hong Kong S.A.R. France. Chile.

Canada. Argentina.

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