comments (76) October 21st, 2009

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Ruth Ruth Dobsevage, member
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Pumpkins vie for attention at the Boston Pumpkin Festival. Photo by Learnsomethingnew under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Rouge vif dEtampes pumpkins are not so great for carving, but very dramatic nonetheless.
Who can resist a piece of Pumpkin Pie?
Pumpkins vie for attention at the Boston Pumpkin Festival. Photo by Learnsomethingnew under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
 Click To Enlarge

Pumpkins vie for attention at the Boston Pumpkin Festival. Photo by Learnsomethingnew under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


In October, pumpkins are everywhere. Along with witches, bats, and trick or treating, the jack-o-lantern has long been a symbol of Halloween. You can carve pumpkins, of course, but you can also eat them. And grow your own.

How to grow pumpkins
Want to grow your own? Read How to Grow Pumpkins.  
A pumpkin for every purpose
Pumpkins range in size from miniature used mainly for festive decorations (Jack Be Little) to giants weighing several hundred pounds (Atlant Giant). In the middle range are common varieties used mainly for pies (Small Sugar, New England Pie) and somewhat larger ones that are good for carving (Howden, Connecticut Field). You'll also find other oddities, such as white pumpkins (Lumina), pumpkins grown mainly for edible seeds (Lady Godiva), and heirlooms (Rouge Vif d'Etampes).

Growing pumpkins isn't difficult
Like squash, pumpkins are a vine crop, so they need a lot of space. They are typically planted in hills, after danger of frost, and they need a fairly long growing season. You can also find bush and semi-bush varieties.

• For more, see How to Grow Pumpkins.

Pumpkins as food
Pumpkins are thought to have originated in the New World and were used by indigenous cultures for food. It's a shame that pumpkins aren't sold in groceries except around Halloween. Their flesh is rich in vitamins and delicious in pies, soups, and stews. Pumpkins last well into winter if stored in a cool, dry location. Alternatively, you can roast the flesh, scoop it out of the rind, and freeze it for use later on. Toasted pumpkin seeds make a good snack.
Three pumpkin recipes to try
Pumpkin recipes from FineCooking.com
Pumpkins: Beyond Halloween

Most sources trace the origin of pumpkin carving to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which celebrated the end of summer, the end of the year, and the dead. On the night of October 31, jack-o-lanterns carved from turnips or gourds were set in windows to ward off evil spirits and welcome the spirits of the dead. Irish immigrants brought the custom to the New World, where pumpkins replaced turnips as the carving medium of choice.

Frosty the pumpkin

You can have quite a laugh surfing the Web for jack-o-lanterns. One of the most outrageous sites is www.extremepumpkins.com. You'll find more conventional designs, along with carving instructions and Halloween lore, at Pumpkin Carving 101. If quantity is what you're after, the city of Boston takes top honors, breaking the world record in 2006 by lighting 30,128 carved pumpkins at one time. Watch the video and see for yourself.

Happy Halloween to all!

posted in: pumpkins

Comments (76)

Rohit Kumar writes: these are sugar pumpkins
Posted: 6:05 am on September 15th
MaryamWasim writes: Really Nice One..!!
Posted: 5:39 am on May 26th
ShawnTrail writes: Really nice idea

Posted: 1:07 am on November 23rd
marystoops writes: these are sugar pumpkins
Posted: 4:42 am on November 8th
nicolejaison writes: perfect
Posted: 1:24 am on November 3rd
deniserenatt writes: multipurpose pumpkin
Posted: 12:31 am on November 3rd
coreybaldwin7 writes: Awesome work
Posted: 4:06 am on October 29th
georgeshort7 writes: Great work
Posted: 2:17 am on October 28th
kerrystone65 writes: Looking Excellent
Posted: 2:02 am on October 26th
Teresarusso writes: great idea.
Posted: 12:09 pm on October 24th
JadeGannon writes: great job.
Posted: 2:27 am on October 22nd
sofiabell writes: I like pumpkin have great tast
Posted: 1:30 am on October 22nd
TimothyEveringham writes: great ideas
Posted: 2:46 am on October 10th
DominicCharlton12 writes: Halloween pumpkins design
Posted: 1:30 am on October 10th
JohnOneal writes: nice...
Posted: 5:49 am on October 8th
PetraJurikova writes: good job buddy.
Posted: 6:18 am on October 5th
ChloeSwayne writes: OMG!too good
Posted: 2:32 am on October 3rd
Dallinlarsen555 writes: Love it
Posted: 2:47 am on September 30th
ShawnTrail writes: Wow this is awesome....
Posted: 1:03 am on September 29th
Dallinlarsen222 writes: cool
Posted: 3:04 am on September 27th
Dallinlarsen4 writes: Marvelous
Posted: 1:28 am on September 17th
Dallin_larsen1 writes: Nice Pumpkin
Posted: 3:17 am on September 16th
KimSpellman writes: Great work...

Posted: 3:24 am on September 15th
Johnychamp writes: Looking beautiful
Posted: 5:00 am on September 14th
DallinLarsen writes: cool
Posted: 2:09 am on September 13th
Patriciagilder writes: Wow! nice brilliant mind to use of pumpkin
Posted: 5:18 am on September 9th
Parkevenew writes: creative
Posted: 3:11 am on August 20th
javierdiaz writes: its looking very attractive.
Posted: 2:40 am on August 11th
ZacharyHarden writes: Thanks for sharing this info.
Posted: 1:20 pm on August 10th
matthewtweedie writes: Good idea
Posted: 12:29 am on August 3rd
yasminspencer10 writes: amazing work..
Posted: 5:01 am on August 2nd
CodyPurser12 writes: amazing work...
Posted: 4:53 am on August 1st
jameswhite12 writes: it is nice...
Posted: 12:16 am on July 29th
allanclark writes: wow very nice.
Posted: 1:41 am on July 16th
sethlamb10 writes: They are very nice.
Posted: 8:15 am on July 14th
RobertCormick writes: looking nice
Posted: 1:01 pm on July 10th
jacobjohn11 writes: I love Halloween Especially because of Pumpkins.
Posted: 12:38 pm on July 7th
FelisaRussell writes: all pics are so fabulous.
Posted: 12:02 pm on July 5th
maxhinesss writes: Excelent job
Posted: 2:59 am on July 5th
davidrayan writes: Pumpkin best for Halloween
Posted: 12:50 am on June 24th
jaynorris10 writes: This is the festible of forginers.
Posted: 5:43 am on June 13th
DorisNorris writes: these are so cute
Posted: 4:40 am on June 13th
MacGarnett writes: creative
Posted: 1:46 pm on June 9th
Andrewlang writes: good
Posted: 5:13 am on June 2nd
Jamesjacob writes: Perfect!
Posted: 12:51 pm on May 26th
Kavinjose writes: lookin very nice
Posted: 5:55 am on May 23rd
charlosmarcos writes: superb
Posted: 11:18 am on May 18th
jacobgravers writes: nice
Posted: 1:22 am on May 11th
Brunojohn writes: Too Good
Posted: 12:48 pm on May 10th
alexaida writes: ultimate
Posted: 12:15 pm on May 9th
Davidecristiana writes: great pumpkin
Posted: 12:46 am on April 29th
DanielVDreyer writes: Nice article! Loved the way you have describe the whole scenario.
Posted: 12:21 am on April 20th
alliancelimo writes: cool designs of pumpkins
Posted: 3:34 am on April 4th
thestephan writes: Very nice!!
Posted: 6:25 am on March 25th
dennysmudge writes: Loved your post.
Posted: 11:38 am on February 4th
roypierce writes: lol really very nice work. I like it. great job man.
Posted: 5:43 am on October 23rd
mickysingh writes: nice photograph of pumkin
Posted: 1:10 am on October 20th
ajayind writes: its very big or full of color that's nice pumpkin
Posted: 2:37 am on October 16th
prophc writes: multipurpose pumpkin
Posted: 5:30 am on October 10th
Austin_Ayword writes: good help
Posted: 1:56 am on July 6th
Ashtonjames writes: awesome work
Posted: 7:10 am on July 2nd
Anna_Bloom writes: greattttt
Posted: 6:41 am on July 2nd
esteph6 writes: perfect
Posted: 5:02 am on July 2nd
Brettlii writes: awesome work
Posted: 2:10 am on June 27th
Lissa53 writes: very nice
Posted: 6:07 am on June 25th
Amymoriya writes: that is nice
Posted: 3:15 am on May 23rd
SoniaGupt writes: Pumpkins have great test
Posted: 1:21 am on April 18th
Sandyadkin writes: I love pumpkin i real life as well
Posted: 4:39 am on April 13th
RosieKr writes: Awesome
Posted: 1:24 am on April 8th
RosieDavis writes: beautiful designs
Posted: 3:10 am on March 30th
alfredsmithh writes: LOL ..Impressive designs
Posted: 6:09 am on March 21st
Mack007 writes: multipurpose pumpkin
Posted: 4:44 am on March 17th
jamiekrover writes: Are these sugar pumpkins?
Posted: 6:44 am on March 12th
johnsonpaul writes: great work
Posted: 1:02 am on March 11th
Ruth writes: In my experience, sugar pumpkins make great pies, and so do many other varieties, including rouge vif. (Of course the liberal addition of spices helps a lot.)
Posted: 2:01 pm on October 28th
silkpjs writes: Up until about twenty years ago I persisted in the annual folly of buying what the greengrocers labeled "sugar pumpkin" believing that I would be getting something flavorful enough to go into a pie. Since the results were always the same -- totally tasteless orange squash -- I finally abandoned the pursuit; I'm not as crazy as I look.
Now once again, hoping insanely that the pumpkin world had changed during my twenty years of abstinence, I have brought home from a really good local farm stand a cute little orange number labeled Sugar Pumpkin and cooked it up hoping for pie pumpkin, and guess what: it's that same old tasteless orange vegetable of yore. So I hadn't learned my lesson after all.

Where do the folks who can pumpkin get theirs? and what kind is it?
Posted: 9:53 am on October 28th
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