Year of the Pumpkin
Origin: Central American
Includes: Various species of Cucurbita pepo, which includes varieties of winter squash, summer squash, zucchini, and gourds
Uses: Pumpkins are a staple for fall decorations and recipes — pumpkin is excellent in baked goods, soups, casseroles, pasta, sauces and, of course, pies.
Groups: Pepo, Maxima, Moschata.
Fun Fact: Pumpkins are a good source of fiber, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B and C while being low in calories, fat and sodium. If you cook with pumpkin all year round, you’ll better support your heart health and healthy blood pressure.
A Bit of History: Native Americans previously would roast and consume strips of pumpkin flesh or dry the skins and weave them into mats. It was the European colonists who created the first pumpkin pie by cutting the top of the pumpkin off, removing the seeds and filling the inside with milk, spices and honey before baking it over hot ashes.
Breeders: Garden Trends, Harris Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, JungSeed, American Meadows, Reimer Seeds, West Coast Seeds, Willhite Seed Inc., Territorial Seed Company, Burpee, Botanical Interests, Park Seed and Bonnie Plants.
Source: National Garden Bureau