Welcome to my Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins are very popular during the fall season, especially for Halloween and Thanksgiving. They have so many uses. You can plant, grow, and cook pumpkins. They can also be used for decorations, or to create beautiful, albeit temporary, works of art. Pumpkins are even chunked in competitions.
My two favorite reasons to love pumpkins? Jack o lanterns and pumpkin pie! What do you love about pumpkins?
A pumpkin is a squash fruit that grows as a gourd from a trailing vine of certain species in the genus Cucurbita. Although native to the Western hemisphere, pumpkins are cultivated in North America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and some other countries. Cucurbita species referred to as pumpkins include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita moschata.
The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and varies in color between cultivars. Although orange is the most common color, some fruits are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray. Large specimens acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg), but smaller fruits are more frequently encountered.
Although the pumpkin is botanically classified as a fruit (the ripened ovary of a flowering plant), it is widely regarded culinary as a vegetable. Their insides are commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin soup; the seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use in Halloween celebrations.
Pumpkins can take three to four months to grow to maturity, so check a planting chart for your local area to find the appropriate time to put in the seeds in your growing zone.
Of course there is much preparation that needs to go into your garden area before planting, so on a nice day, go check out the area. Take Ph soil samples and think about the layout of your rows.
Pumpkin vines need lots of room! A single pumpkin plant will spread 4' - 6'. Consider shade and watering sources. Start a compost pile. And dream about your beautiful pumpkins to come!
Planting Pumpkin Seeds
- Pumpkin Growing Tips —
Pumpkins are a wonderful addition to your garden, and they are a joy to grow. This site is designed to help you grow fantastic organic pumpkins, with lots of expert gardening tips and information.
- Pumpkin Hybird Varieties
The maturity days are specifically targeted for North-Eastern USA.
Pumpkin cultivation is a form of gardening that is based on growing pumpkins or other similar squash varieties. And while pumpkins are now grown mostly for autumn and winter decorations rather than for its food value, pumpkin farming is still a major business in North America and around the World. It is believed that people have been cultivating pumpkins since 7000 B.C.
The Perfect pumpkin is really the perfect sampler of all types of pumpkin information, such as the history of pumpkins, how to grow them, how to carve them, how to cook with them (an entire recipe section!) and even crafty things such as how to make your very own pumpkin hand soap.
More on Pumpkin Cultivation
Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and today most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees. One hive per acre (4,000 mÂ² per hive) is recommended by the United States of America (US) Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate. Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. An opportunistic fungus is also sometimes blamed for abortions.
Pumpkins have male and female flowers, the latter distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. The bright, colorful flowers are short-lived and may open for as little as one day.
Although in the rest of the world pumpkins are grown for eating, in the US they are grown more for decoration than for food (particularly around Halloween). Popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer.
- Dills Atlantic Giant
We are very pleased to offer you our most recent selection of the world's top performing and favorite pumpkin varieties. Pumpkin fever has hit an all-time high with many more home owners decorating for the fall season, and the dramatic increase in Wo
- Big Pumpkins
The mission of BigPumpkins.com is to provide an interactive web site to the giant pumpkin growing community! We would also like to promote the exciting sport/hobby of giant pumpkin and giant squash growing by helping new comers get started.
- Giant Pumpkins
This is a place to find out new information about growing and having fun with giant pumpkins.
Jack o lanterns
A jack-o-lantern, sometimes also spelled 'Jack OLantern', is a pumpkin whose top and stem have been cut out and interior removed, leaving a hollow shell that is then decoratively carved. Jack-o-lanterns are associated with the holiday Halloween. The term is not particularly common outside North America.
More on Jack o lanterns
Sections of the pumpkin are cut out to make a design, often depicting a face. A variety of tools may be used to carve and hollow out the gourd, ranging from simple knives and spoons to specialized instruments. Printed stencils can be used as a guide for increasingly complex designs. It is possible to create surprisingly artistic designs, be they simple or intricate in nature. After carving, a light source (traditionally a candle, now often a battery-operated light) is placed inside the pumpkin and the top is put back into place. The light illuminates the design from the inside. Sometimes a chimney is carved in the lid to allow heat to escape.
Traditionally the carved pumpkin would be a face, often with a simple crooked toothed grin. But toward the end of the 20th century, artists began expressing every kind of idea they could imagine on pumpkins. Today, it is common to see portraits of political candidates, celebrities and cartoon characters.
Step by step article on pumpkin carving and list of tools you will need.
Information about tools, stencils, tips, and photography.
Over 150 stencils and templates. This web site is devoted to the art of Pumpkin Carving.
Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Painting Instructions
Follow these easy instructions for carving or painting your pumpkin with SpookMaster templates to create a masterful design!
America's trusted Halloween brand. Tips, carving tools -manual and powered, free patterns, contest. Each year, our products are featured on national television and consumer magazines such as Good Morning America, The Tony Danza Show, Better Homes & Garden, NFL Today and much more!
Stoneykins.com is devoted to the art of pumpkin carving. This is a great site with hundreds of patterns to choose from.
History of the Jack o' Lantern
People have been making jack-o-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns.
Unique and Strange Pumpkins
- Extreme Pumpkins
Strange pumpkins, pumpkin patterns, and alternative pumpkin carving techniques are developed and demonstrated for you. Shocking, funny, and gross pumpkin designs. Pumpkin carving will never be the same.
- Funkins: Carving Artificial Pumpkins
The premier artificial carvable pumpkins-FUNKINS-are the most realistic looking artificial pumpkins, carvable or non-carvable. Carving FUNKINS is just like carving pumpkins! But FUNKINS are not messy, and your carvings last forever!
You have to see these! Patrick Moser's amazing Halloween creations! For 17 years he has been taking the traditional Jack O' Lantern a step further with hundreds of hours spent with thousands of pounds of pumpkins. Over that time his craft has evolved
- Masterpiece Pumpkins
Custom carved pumpkins/Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkin carving patterns. Pumpkin carver for hire- specializing in "Camera Ready" pumpkins, carving all year for movie/theater props, home, business, and weddings.
- Pumpkin Glow
Everything BUT - Halloween pumpkin carving designs
- Steve's Pumpkin Art
Steve Dahlke has been carving for 15 years. His love for carving started when he was only 19 years old. When Steve was 19 he was already creating scary faces and works of art on pumpkins weighing approximately 60 lbs or more.
- Tagyerit Presents
Site description: Many of these glowing carved pumpkins were competitors in the Yankee Candle carving competition (circa 1990). At the time I photographed them simply for our scrap book. Unfortunately I cannot attribute many of the artists. As wood c
- Zombie Pumpkins
What exactly IS a Zombie Pumpkin, you ask? Well you see, some unfortunate pumpkins were ignored during Halloween celebrations of the past. The one with the mushy spot... the broken stem... the bumpy skin. Considered too ugly to be turned into jack-o-
- Black Magic Pumpkins
Pumpkins painted black! Also offers tip of putting waxed paper behind the cutouts to diffuse the light.
The Jack-o-lantern now has it's own website!
The Internet's First and most comprehensive home of Jack-O-Lantern history, techniques, tools, free patterns and information on the World Wide Web.
Pumpkin Recipes - Fab-BOO-lous cooking ideas from all over the web!
Beyond Jack-O-Lanterns By Kalyn Denny - Mention pumpkin and the first thing that comes to mind is Jack-O-Lanterns, but there are lots of of other good things to make from pumpkin. Here's how you can create some unique pumpkin goodness, just in time f
- Pumpkin Nook
Pumpkin Nook's cookbook has pumpkin recipes, Halloween recipes, Thanksgiving recipes and more. There's Recipes Galore!
- Pumpkins and More
From the University of Illinois Extension Center.
- Backyard Gardener Recipes
Lots of pumpkin recipes!
- Veg Box Recipes
More pumpkin recipes!
- Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Great pumpkin bread recipes from a fellow lensmaster
Pumpkin chunking (or 'Punkin Chunkin' or pumpkin chucking') is hurling a pumpkin by mechanical means over great heights and distances in an attempt to hurl the pumpkin the farthest. In order of increasing effectiveness, the devices include compound slingshots, catapults, trebuchets, and pneumatic air cannons. The range achieved by loads greatly depends on their mass, shape, and size; the yield limits, stiffnesses, pitch, and elevation of the hurler; and the wind speed. The better pumpkin chunkers specially grow dwarf, regular, firm pumpkins ideal for use as a cannon projectile, as sabots are prohibited in competitions.
Such competitions disallow self- or ground-powered pumpkins by chemical reactions. Another rule is that the pumpkin must be whole after leaving the device for the chunking to count, which limits the forces in the cannon barrel (pumpkins that do not leave the barrel intact are referred to as "pumpkin pie in the sky"). Outside of lengthening the barrel, the limit is on the pumpkin which, as a corollary, of course must be natural. The special pumpkins grown by some are thus not suitable for eating. The latest record for a chunked pumpkin is about 4800 feet.
Pumpkin Throwing Competition
Air cannons, slingshots and trebuchets, built specifically for flinging pumpkins!
Interesting Facts from the 2005 World Championship Punkin Chunk:
*91 Machines recorded measurements
*Grand Total distance shot was 52615.11' or 9.96 miles of chunkin!
*8 out of 11 classes set new records
*Top three finishers in all classes recorded 27 new personal best.
*39 additional machines achieved a new personal best
*2 new machines entered the 4,000' Club (Which only has 6 members)
2005 was not only a record for attendance by the general public, it was also a record year for CHUNKERS!
How are the machines classified?
Adult Air, Adult Centrifugal, Adult Catapult, Adult Trebuchet, Adult Human Power, Adult Human Power Centrifugal, Adult Torsion Catapult, Youth 11-17 Air, Youth 11-17 Catapult, Youth 11-17 Trebuchet, Youth 11-17 Human Power, Youth 10 & Under Catapult, Youth 10 & Under Trebuchet, Youth 10 & Under Human Power and Theatrical.
Other Uses for Pumpkins
No one knows exactly how old pumpkins are, but we do know that prehistoric peoples gobbled them up. Archeologists have dug up ancient pumpkin seeds in Native American cliff dwellings in Colorado and in Peruvian ruins. In fact, pumpkins were probably one of the first foods to be cultivated by natives of North and South America.
The traditional Native American way to cook a pumpkin was to plop a whole one into the ashes of a fire, bake it until it was tender, scoop out the soft flesh, and dribble it with maple syrup.
Europeans got their first taste of pumpkins soon after arriving in the New World in the early seventeenth century. The colonists called this newfangled food "pumpion" or "pompion." The plentiful pumpkin kept the hungry settlers from starving, and they soon learned many ways to cook it. The colonists feasted on pumpkin beer, pumpkin stew, and mashed pumpkin. They even ate the pumpkin flowers. In fact, the colonists ate so much of this squash, they sang this little tune: "We have pumpkin at morning and pumpkin at noon. If it were not for pumpkin, we should be undoon."
Sometime in the late seventeenth century, the colonists began a Thanksgiving tradition by combining cooked pumpkin with milk, eggs, and molasses to make pies. In 1705, Connecticut colonists in Colchester actually postponed Thanksgiving until they could get their hands on enough molasses to whip up a batch of pies.
Pumpkin pie became so popular that it was included in the first cookbook published by an American. Amelia Simmons printed the recipe in her book, American Cookery, in 1796. Her pie included one quart of pumpkin, three pints of cream, nine beaten eggs, and lots of sugar and spices.
The pumpkin was not just a life-saving food for the colonists. It had lots of other uses. Pumpkinseeds were steeped in hot water to brew a dark tea. This powerful potion was used as a medicine to treat tapeworm and other diseases.
According to an eighteenth-century book on the history of Connecticut, dried pumpkin shells gave the colonists a head start on haircuts. A pumpkin shell was placed on top of a colonist's shaggy noggin and used as a cutting guide. People with these hairstyles were called "pumpkin-heads."
You can even make your own pumpkin soap!
Interesting Pumpkin Articles from Wikipedia
- Pumpkin Fest
The Pumpkin Festival (a.k.a. Pumpkin Fest) is a yearly celebration held in Keene, New Hampshire, USA at Halloween. Each year, Keene residents and other citizens from around the area attempt to amass the largest number of lit jack-o'-lanterns in one p
- The Great Pumpkin
The Great Pumpkin is an unseen character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. The Great Pumpkin is a mythical holiday figure (comparable to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny) that appears to exist only in the imagination of Linus van Pelt
- Pumpkin queen
A pumpkin queen may be either a fictional character or a real person associated with a variety of beauty contests held in North America.
- Circleville Pumpkin Show
The Circleville Pumpkin Show is an annual festival dedicated to the pumpkin. The festival is typically headed up by local and national pumpkin growers to promote pumpkins. Although many states have pumpkin festivals, the largest of these is situated