Pumpkin Fun Facts!
- Pumpkins are members of the Gourd family, which also includes cucumber, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons, and zucchini.
- Illinois farmers grow more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world.
- Pumpkins can range in size from less than one pound to more than 2,000 pounds, depending on the variety.
- The heaviest pumpkin on record was grown in Belgium in 2016 and weighed 2,624 pounds.
- It takes 110-120 days for a pumpkin vine to produce mature pumpkins.
- Pumpkins grow on a vine that can grow up to 30 feet long.
- The tap root of a pumpkin can grow 2-3 feet deep.
- Pumpkin seeds are full of protein and iron and can be roasted as a snack. They are also known as pepitas.
- In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient in pie crusts, not for the filling!
- The name Pumpkin originates from “pepon”, the Greek word for “large melon”.
- The bright orange color of pumpkins is a strong clue that pumpkins are full of the antioxidant, beta-carotene.
- Pumpkin is low in calories, fat and sodium, and high in fiber.
- Morton, Illinois, where 80% of the world’s canned pumpkin is processed, is considered the Pumpkin capital of the world.
*From the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom2018-19 Calendar for Teachers