Halloween is this Saturday, and we carved our pumpkins over the weekend. Pumpkins dry out really quickly up here in the mountains so we have to time it just right so that they aren't shriveled up for Halloween night! They also have to live indoors otherwise they would freeze at night and turn to mush during the day. Pumpkins have a lot of water in them so freezing is a major issue!
Hopefully you can find some time for carving pumpkins (or decorating them) for Halloween this year! Here are some fun facts to share with the kiddos while you are scraping the goop out from inside these iconic gourds:
Carving pumpkins started in Ireland...and they started by carving Turnips or Potatoes! When people from Ireland started coming to the US where pumpkins were being grown, they transitioned to pumpkins and the tradition we now know was born.
Carved pumpkins on your stoop are supposed to scare away any spirits that are wandering around on Halloween. BOO!
Pumpkins are a type of gourd - other members of the gourd family are melons, cucumbers, and zucchini!
Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins in the US - they produce over twice as many pumpkins as the next largest producer.
The heaviest pumpkin on record was grown in Germany and weighed 2,624.6 pounds! The heaviest pumpkin grown in the US was grown in New Hampshire and weighed 2,528 pounds!
How do you get rid of your pumpkin after Halloween? Do you, or someone you know, compost? If so, you can throw your pumpkin right into the compost pile (clean off any paint or other decorations first, and be sure to take the candles out!). Also, get rid of any seeds unless you want pumpkins to grow in your compost pile! If you live here in Summit County, you can bring your pumpkin to the recycling center and they will have a compost bin just for pumpkins!
If your pumpkin is not moldy and you know someone who owns chickens...give it to them for their chickens to snack on! They love pumpkins and it will help them stay entertained on these cooler fall days...not to mention they are loaded with vitamins!
I hope you and your family have a great Halloween, however you decide to celebrate it (or not!) this year.
Stay Wild and Free!