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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Do you know pumpkins

With it being October and many of us all ready thinking about pumpkins, pumpkin patches and Halloween I thought it would be cool to write a Do you know post about pumpkins.... So here we go..

Did you know that the word pumpkin is a Greek word which means large melon. Pepon was changed by translating into french, english, and Americans turned the word into "pumpkins" Pumpkins and squash were first found in the ancient Americas. They were not the traditional large round orange Jack-O-Lantern fruit that we know today but rather they were crooked neck squash that stored well Commonly grew along river and creek banks with sunflowers, and beans.

The early Native American farmers raised squash, corn and beans together. The beans would use the corn like a trellis. The bean roots placed nitrogen in the soil that helped the corn grow. The bean vines would help keep the corn in the ground on windy days. The squash worked as shade and helped block out weeds.

The early pumpkins would be roasted in strips over campfires and were a great food source. These squash would help to make it through the long winters as they could be roasted, baked, parched, boiled and dried. The seeds were enjoyed and used in medicine. The blossom of the fruit was added to stews and the pumpkins would also be dried to be stored and ground into flour But, that was not all as the shell itself could be made into containers to store items such as grains, beans and seeds.

Name the Vegetable whose seeds were taken by Columbus on his returning trip to Europe and once used as a remedy for snakebites and a cure for freckles

Columbus would be the source to carry these early pumpkins back to Europe in the form of seeds. In the early days they were used to feed the pigs but no thought of as human food. The Indians would introduce the pumpkin to the pilgrims as a food source. They could store well and offered nutritious food source during the winter.

Did you know that it was pumpkins that helped the early settlers thrive?? Without them the early pilgrims may have starved. This was a common verse among Pilgrims

  • 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 doom." Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
The pilgrims also made pumpkin beer by fermenting persimmons, hops, maple sugar and pumpkin. 

Do you know where the term pumpkin head came from:

Early colonies would use pumpkin shells to ensure haircuts were round and uniform. This led to the nickname of pumpkin heads.

Early Jack-O-Lanterns were carved from turnips and potatoes by the Irish and Scottish. They were used in Celtic celebrations. English used beets and lumps of coal set on fire to place inside the hollow root veggies. The pumpkins in America became the vessel to be carved.

I hope I have helped to share some new answers regarding the pumpkin

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