Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pumpkins Facts - did you know?

Total U.S. pumpkin production in 2006 was valued at $101.3 million.

496 million pounds of pumpkins were produced in Illinois in 2005.

The top pumpkin production states are Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.

The top ten pumpkin producing counties in Illinois are Tazewell, Kankakee, Mason, Logan, Will, Marshall, Kane, Pike, Carroll and Woodford.

According to the University of Illinois, 90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the United States are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois.

Pumpkins are grown primarily for processing with a small percentage grown for ornamental sales through you-pick farms, farmers’ market and retail sales.

Around 90 to 95% of the processed pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois.

Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.

Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

Pumpkins are used for feed for animals.

Pumpkin flowers are edible.

Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads.

The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits.

Pumpkins originated in Central America.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

The name pumpkin orginated from "pepon" – the Greek word for "large melon."

The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.

Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

Pumpkins are fruit.

Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

In colonial times, Native Americans roasted long strips of pumpkin in an open fire.

Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.

Native Americans called pumpkins "isqoutm squash."

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.


  1. I knew some of those things.

    In Australia the traditional use for pumpkin is boiled as a side dish and roasted as a side dish. You can probably buy canned pumpkin from the major supermarkets but people use fresh all year round I think.

    Much the same as England?

  2. Hi Linda, I can't remember there being any pumpkins in England when I was growing up. Maybe now? You can buy the canned here too and people will make Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween with the fresh ones. Pumpkin Pie is traditionally served up around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if you're someone like my son, you can eat it all year round. He loves pumpkin pie.

  3. That was an interesting list of facts. Who would have thought...


  4. 2SweetnSaxy, learned quite a few things myself. Yes, who would have thought :)

  5. I didn't know half that stuff. I love pumpkin pie as well as pumpkin-pecan cookies, and pumpkin muffins! Last year I had pumpkin pancakes at a restuarant and they were so good that I came home and made my own. YUM! You can't go wrong with a pumpkin!

  6. No, I didn't know...Very interesting! And I love the Thoreau quote, it made me laugh.

    Another fact about pumpkins: I cannot grow them to save my life. Something keeps eating all my blossoms. Thank god for Peoria!

    My favorite fall treat is pumpkin bread with cream cheese.