Pumpkins are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which also includes squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.
Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.
The largest pumpkin ever grown was 1,140 pounds. It was grown by Dave Stelts of Leetonia, Ohio, in 2000.
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 color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was 350 pounds and five feet in diameter.