By Emma Kidger
What comes to your mind when you think of fall? Pumpkins! America’s obsession with the famous fall gourd remains endless. Not only do we carve Jack-O-Lanterns, but we also make desserts, dinners, drinks, crafts and so much more. Today, the delicious orange fruit is one of the biggest money makers in America. From pumpkin patches to grocery stores, pumpkins like the typical ornamental pumpkins or the processing pumpkin are on the bestsellers lists for pie making or decorations. Pumpkins are also the subject of many games and competitions. Many pumpkin growers start planting seeds in late April and early May, hoping for a gigantic pumpkin to enter in a competition. The biggest pumpkin on record was 1,810 lb and 8 oz from Minnesota in 2010.
During this spooky season something caught my attention: why do we associate pumpkins with fall? Why don’t we have a Christmas pumpkin or a Valentine’s Day pumpkin? Turns out the answer takes a more economical approach. New England colonists would grow pumpkin during the colder months as corn and wheat failed to grow. Irish immigrants not only started eating pumpkins, but also carving them, creating the ritual of Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween.
Make sure this fall season you swing by your nearest pumpkin patch so you can carry out the annual tradition of making a Jack-O-Lantern or to make a delicious pumpkin pie!