All About Pumpkins - The Directory Group

All About Pumpkins

With Halloween just around the corner, here is everything you need to know about autumn’s favourite food…

The history…

The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word ‘Pepõn’ which means large melon… the word then gradually morphed through various languages before the word ‘pumpkin’ came into being. Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas, and were heavily relied upon by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, as they stored well, which meant they could have a nutritious food source during the winter months. When it comes to the origins of jack-o-lanterns, there are many theories! Early jack-o-lanterns were carved from turnips and potatoes by the Irish and Scottish and carried in Celtic celebrations, but the English used beetroots!  When European settlers arrived in America, they finally found that pumpkins were much better suited to being carved out for lanterns!

Some fun facts…

- Pumpkins are technically a fruit!
- Every single part of them is edible, including the skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds and even the stem!
- The world’s largest pumpkin was more that five feet in diameter and weighed over 1,800 pounds!

The health benefits…

Firstly, pumpkins are 90% water, making them very low in calories! Not only are they low in calories, pumpkins are also chock-full of vitamins and minerals with all sorts of benefits. They have more fibre than kale, more potassium than bananas, and are full of heart-healthy magnesium and iron! Pumpkins are also high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene, which gives an immunity boost thanks to their powerful combination of nutrients… perfect for fighting off those winter colds!

Growing your own…

Pumpkin seeds should have been planted between the last week in May and the middle of June, as they take between 90 and 210 days to grow, and should be picked in October when they are bright orange!

If you missed the perfect time to plant this year, you can always try again next year! For now, how about visiting one of these ‘pick your own’ pumpkin spots near us…

Durleighmarsh Farm, Rogate Rd, Petersfield, Hants, GU31 5AX.
www.durleighmarshfarmshop.co.uk

Pickwell Farm, Grange Road, Netley, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 8GD.
www.pickwellfarm.co.uk

Rogate Pumpkin Patch, ¼ mile east of Rogate Village between Midhurst and Petersfield, on the A272, GU31 5EG. 
www.rogatepumpkinpatch.com

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, Portsmouth, Alton, Alresford, Bentley, Four Marks and Meon Valley