All About Pumpkins
Find Out More About Pumpkin Festivals
Cooking With Pumpkins
All About Cooking With Pumpkins
Welcome to Pumpkin Festival
We love pumpkins! And if you do, too, then you’re in the right place. Rarely has a fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) been as celebrated as the pumpkin. In the autumnal months, and around the year, pumpkins are heralded all over the world. So, what makes this bright orange squash such a subject of fascination?
On these pages, you’ll find out all about the not so humble pumpkin. You’ll learn:
How to grow it
How to carve it
How to bake it
In fact, there’s not much we don’t know about pumpkins!
Let’s start with where it all began.
All About Pumpkin History
It is thought that pumpkins originated in central America around 5,500 BC. Archaeologists found what they believe are the oldest pumpkin seeds in the Mexican Oaxaca Highlands. At that time pumpkins were small and had a bitter flavour.
Pumpkins were one of the first staple crops grown in North America hundreds of years ago. The pumpkin lent itself well to the harsh times, as the outer shell protected the inner hearty flesh perfectly over the winter months when other crops were scarce.
You can find out more about pumpkins centuries ago on other pages on our pumpkin-loving site.
Here are some basic facts about pumpkins.
🎃An average pumpkin weighs about 3.5 -5.5 kg.
🎃Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June.
🎃They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in colour.
🎃Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
🎃 There’s not a huge amount of money in competitive pumpkin growing – it’s all about prestige.
All About Pumpkin Festivals
Giant pumpkins! Pumpkin growers globally have been trying to grow the biggest and best pumpkins for centuries. Brimming with pumpkin pride people want to show off their horticultural offspring.
There are many pumpkin spectaculars around the globe where farmers and the pumpkin-obsessed show their large gourds. And we tell you all about the best pumpkin festivals worldwide on other pages.
There are also pumpkin patches which are fun day out events where you can pick up your jack-o’-lantern to be – and carve it there and then.
And finally, there are also Halloween and pumpkin events all rolled into one where you can celebrate all things pumpkin-related.
So simply click the link to take a tour and find the nearest pumpkin festival to you.
Pumpkins are not just for showing and lanterns. Many people have never even tried the delicious flesh of pumpkins. They are an incredibly versatile and a super healthy ingredient. Take a look at these pumpkin nutrition stats for 100g of flesh:
🎃 Calories: 49
🎃 Carbs: 12 grams
🎃 Fibre: 3 grams
🎃 Protein: 2 grams
🎃 Vitamin K: 49% of the RDI
You can find out more about how nutritious not just the pumpkin flesh is but also the seeds of this bright orange squash in our cooking with pumpkins page. And don’t forget to explore our pumpkin-packed recipe blog.
The Guinness World Records, continually records monster pumpkins. Records now stand at phenomenal proportions and well over 2,500 pounds.
Records are often surpassed year on year with each new pumpkin harvest. To give you some scale of a pumpkin this size – that’s bigger than an average horse that weighs from 900-2000lbs. That’s enough to make around 3,000 pumpkin pies and would serve 30,000 people!
Growing giant gourds is no new thing. But the incremental growth each year is surprising. At the Paris World’s Fair in 1900 a 400-pound pumpkin was a feat. And even 70 years after this 400-pound pumpkins would walk away with the first prize.
From 1979 -1981, a Nova Scotia farmer named Howard Dill noticed significant increases in his huge pumpkins and the seed named after him became Dill’s Atlantic Giant.
This genetic blueprint for massive pumpkins was the start of more competitive pumpkin growing. Growers self-pollinate new pumpkins with seeds and pollen from weight-busting parents, naming winners with their mum and dad’s details just like a prize poodle at Cruft’s.
While it was never thought that 2,000 or 2,500 pounds could be achieved these aspirations have been met. But there has to be a limit, just like how fast can a human being run a certain distance. A giant gourd is disqualified once the outer skin breaks from the pressure.