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. It went whole hog (so to speak) with a Hogzilla theme for its fall festival, including a parade featuring a Hogzilla princess, children in pink pig outfits and a float carrying a Hogzilla replica. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. Alapaha, however, has accepted the legend of this odd hog into its community. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. Since the discovery of Hogzilla, the small town of Alapaha, Georgia, which lies about 180 miles south of Atlanta, has seen an insurgence of pop culture interest in their town that might be compared to the hype created by other purported anomalies of nature such as Bigfoot. The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. Nancy Donnelly, the producer of the National Geographic documentary, stated that the scientists who made the measurements had already accounted for "shrinkage" when they stated their estimates.

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. “Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?”. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. "As with any organic being after death, tissues will decompose and the body will atrophy, making actual measurements change over time,” Holyoak said. Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Holyoak said that Hogzilla weighed 1,000 pounds (400kg) when he weighed it on his farm scales, and that he personally measured the hog's length at 12 feet (4 meters) while it dangled by the straps from a backhoe.
. Ken Holyoak, the man upon whose farm the boar was shot and killed, has disputed the findings made by the National Geographic documentary.

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. National Geographic theorized that he had been stealing protein-rich fishfood from a nearby fish farm, which may explain his immense size. 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. Hogzilla was half domestic and half wild, probably born from a wild boar father and domestic pig mother. 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. Imre and Count Nicholaus Zrínyi Jr., are recorded to have been killed by giant boars, although many historians believe that assassination was a more likely explanation for their deaths. 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. Two medieval Hungarian aristocrats, Prince St.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Literally bear-sized specimens have been filmed and hunted in some places in Eastern Europe, especially Transylvania and Hungary. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate. Wild boars sometimes do grow gigantic as they age. 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. According to the examiners, Hogzilla's tusks measured nearly 46 cm (18 inches), and nearly 41 cm (16 inches), which was a new record for North America.

(see Scientific American, October 25, 2004). Hogzilla was part domestic and part wild boar. 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 March 2005, these scientists confirmed that Hogzilla actually weighed 800 pounds (360 kg) and was between 7.5 and 8 feet (2.25 and 2.4 meters) long, diminishing the validity of the previous claim. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months. Its remains were exhumed in early 2005 and studied by scientists from the National Geographic for a documentary. pepo) species. It was alleged to be 12 feet (3.6 meters) long and to weigh 1,000 pounds (450 kg).

maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. Hogzilla is a wild hog shot in Alapaha, Georgia on 17 June 2004 by Chris Griffin on Ken Holyoak's farm and hunting reserve. 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. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. maxima or C.

Winter squashes are either C. 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. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes). H.

The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. . Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations.

Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. 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. 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). For example: "I love you, Pumpkin!". "Pumpkin" is sometimes used as an affectionate term, often referring to one's significant other.

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

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

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. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 lb (666 kg). The pumpkin is related to the cucumber. Mashed pumpkin.

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin soup.

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