Did you know that one of the most recognized symbols of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern? Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years! Wow, that’s a lot of pumpkins! Going to the pumpkin patch with my family every October brings back a lot of fond memories. Now, my kids look forward to going to the pumpkin farm every year. A hayride takes us back to rows and rows of pumpkins where they get to pick one right off the vine. There are so many it’s hard to pick just one so we usually end up with five or six. Then it’s on to the barn where they get to feed the sheep and goats. It’s really a great time of the year to do this because the trees are beautiful shades of red and yellow and there’s a slight chill in the air making good use of sweatshirts and jackets. The atmosphere at the pumpkin farm always puts us in the Halloween mood.
Carving the pumpkins is a lot of fun. There are so many really cool stencil books you can get for the kids to use. The part that grosses out my daughters is the “gutting” of the pumpkin, so my husband always ends up getting out all the insides for them. We always save the pumpkin seeds for snacking on later. First run them under cool water to clean them up, then put them in a bowl and mix with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes until they turn light brown. They are delicious! It’s just like snacking on popcorn.
Check out these fun facts about pumpkins:
- Pumpkins are not a vegetable – they are a fruit
- The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2003 and weighed 418 lbs
- Pumpkins are low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber
- Largest pumpkin ever grown on record was 1,502 lbs
- Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha and beta-carotene
- In Korea and Japan, "pumpkin" is a slang term for an unattractive woman
This year when you find that perfect pumpkin, have fun carving it and display it proudly on your front porch for everyone to see! For more Halloween fun ideas, you might want to check out this section of our website: Halloween Fun Ideas