It’s almost fall, which can only mean one thing… all pumpkin everything! But what’s the story behind this fabulously versatile fruit? Let’s find out more.
Native to North America, the oldest trace of pumpkins dates back for millennia. How old exactly? While excavating a cave in Mexico, archaeologists found pumpkin seeds from over 8,000 years ago!
More recently, pumpkins were used by Native American tribes as a food source. From roasting the flesh, to baking the seeds or even grinding dried pumpkin into flour, the gourd was a staple and relied upon for survival. Since pumpkins store so well, they were critical in helping these tribes and early settlers make it through long, harsh winters. How real was the love for pumpkins? So much so that Pilgrims wrote poems about them!
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon
Ever wanted to grow a pumpkin? One of the oldest gourd growing techniques is that of the Three Sisters. Long ago, ancient Mayans realized that squash would grow best when planted together alongside corn and beans. These Three Sisters form a symbiotic relationship, where the squash shelters the roots of the corn, the beans nourish the soil, and the corn serves as a trellis. Give it a try and see for yourself!
Not only do they look awesome, pumpkins are also super versatile. Both the flesh and the seeds can be eaten, while the outer shell can be carved into a spooky jack-o-lantern or a teapot. More, you say? Pumpkins can also be dried and turned into gourds, which can then be used as containers. They’ve even been used as musical instruments! Seriously… is there anything they can’t do?