- Scientists believe that pumpkins originated in North America about 9000 years ago. The oldest pumpkin seeds have been found in Mexico and date back to somewhere between 7000-5550 B.C.. Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.
- Every single part of a pumpkin is edible: the skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds, and stems.
- The word “pumpkin” originates from “peopon,” which means “large melon” in Greek. It then evolved to “pompon” in French and “pumpion” in Britain. The Americans later changed it to “pumpkin,” the name we still use today.
- The earliest pumpkin pie made in America was quite different than the pumpkin pie we enjoy today. Pilgrims and early settlers made pumpkin pie by hollowing out a pumpkin, filling the shell with milk, honey and spices and baking it.
How To Preserve A Carved Pumpkin:
Hollowed-out carved pumpkins are more likely to deteriorate quicker than uncarved pumpkins. Be sure to clean out your pumpkin thoroughly when you carve it. To help keep your pumpkin fresh, a quick soak in a bleach solution will do the trick.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Rinse your carved pumpkin with water.
- In a bucket large enough to fit your pumpkin, mix one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water. You’ll need enough of this mixture to completely submerge your pumpkin.
- Dunk the pumpkin in the water, holding it under the surface (you’ll want to wear gloves), and let it soak for 2 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin from the bucket and let the pumpkin air dry.
- Smear petroleum jelly all over the outside and inside of your pumpkin to keep it from drying out.
- Spray carved pumpkins daily with water that’s mixed with a few drops of bleach. This will help with hydration and protect against rot.
- Use battery-operated lights instead of real candles inside the pumpkin.
Article by: Kim Rainey, Ellis County Master Gardener