Pumpkin history, fun pumpkin facts and pumpkin carving at Rothamsted in Harpenden
Pumpkin history, fun pumpkin facts and pumpkin carving at Rothamsted in Harpenden 7 Oct 2021
Rothamsted Pumpkin Week
During Autumn, pumpkins are ripe and plentiful which is perfect timing for Halloween! Here at Rothamsted, we love to celebrate the humble pumpkin and hold our annual Rothamsted Pumpkin Week from 25th to 29th October. Come along to one of our pumpkin carving sessions during October Half Term in our spacious Fowden Hall and enjoy pumpkin carving and let your imagination run wild!
Each group (maximum of 6) will have their own table for 90 minutes of pumpkin fun. Tickets are £7 per carver (adults and children welcome!) and this activity can be done by children. Kids will require some adult supervision when using the pumpkin carving tools.
Carve your own pumpkin with us at Rothamsted Pumpkin Week
Why not book tickets for Rothamsted Pumpkin Week this half term – 25th – 29th October
Our spacious Fowden Hall will become a cavern of pumpkin activity. Each group (maximum of 6) will have their own table for 90 minutes of pumpkin fun. Enjoy pumpkin carving and let your imagination run wild! Tickets are £7 per carver (all welcome!). Non-carvers go free. Tickets include: – A pumpkin – Pumpkin drawing and colouring – Pumpkin food quiz – Pumpkin photography competition – share your fantastic carving designs with us on social media to be in with a chance of winning a prize! Find us here: Twitter Instagram Facebook – Outdoor games on the lawn outside our café (weather permitting!) Book here: https://www.rothamstedenterprises.com/events/
Before Pumpkin Week arrives, here are some fun facts and tasty recipes to get you into the mood for Halloween!
The word ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word, pepon, which means a “large melon.”
Pumpkins originated in Central America.
The yellow-orange flowers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible.
The earliest pumpkin pie made in America was quite different than the pumpkin pie we enjoy today. Pilgrims and early settlers made pumpkin pie by hollowing out a pumpkin, filling the shell with milk, honey and spices and baking it.
Early settlers in the USA dried pumpkins shells, cut it into strips and wove it into mats.
Pumpkin has been prepared in a variety of ways from soups to stews to desserts since the immigration of the first European settlers.
Pumpkins were once considered a remedy for freckles and snakebites!
A French explorer, in 1584, first call them ‘gros melons’ which was translated into English as ‘pompions’. It wasn’t until the 17th Century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.
Jack-o’-lanterns were originally made with turnips and potatoes by the Irish.
In England they used large beets and lit them with embers to ward off evil spirits.
The origins of Jack-o’lanterns comes from an Irish myth about Stingy Jack. The myth says that Stingy Jack tricked the Devil for his own monetary gain. When Jack died, God didn’t allow him into heaven, and the Devil didn’t let him into hell, so Jack was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity. In Ireland, people started to carve demonic faces out of turnips to frighten away Jack’s wandering soul.
Irish immigrants brought their customs to the USA but found that pumpkins were much easier to carve.
Fun Pumpkin Facts
Pumpkins are actually a fruit. They are related to cucumbers, melons and luffas.
There are over 50 varieties of pumpkin!
Every pumpkin has about 500 seeds.
Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antartica.
The world’s heaviest pumpkin weighed over 1179 kilos!
Plant your Halloween pumpkin seeds the first week of June – most varieties take between 3-4 months to mature.
Plant your pumpkin seeds in a spot with full sun and good drainage.
The female flower only opens for a day for pollination.
Nutritional benefits of pumpkins
Pumpkin seeds taste great roasted and contain medicinal properties.
Pumpkins are full of antioxidants. Beta-carotene gives them their orange colour, is a free-radical fighting antioxidant. We convert it to Vit A for healthy skin and eyes and strengthening the immune system.
They are high in potassium which can help to lower high blood pressure and protect against age-related hearing loss.
They contain protein, zinc magnesium, manganese and copper, are high in Vit C and are a great source of fibre.
Every single part of the pumpkin is edible. You can eat the skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds and even the stem!
Pumpkins are a low-calorie food, being made of 90% water.
Together let’s try and reduce food waste this Halloween with these tasty pumpkin recipes from the team at Rothamsted.