The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching, and in the western tradition, Halloween is not complete without the famous Jack-O-Lanterns. Millions of pumpkins were grown and sold yearly to be decorations for Halloween. However, this should not always be the case.
English immigrants introduced the art of carving pumpkins to the United States in the 1800s. They used pumpkins as an alternative option to turnip due to the latter’s scarcity in supply. Face-carved pumpkins are now part of the traditional Halloween decorations in western culture. In fact, out of 1.5 billion pumpkins sold each year, the vast majority were dedicated to the Halloween season.
However, the popularity of pumpkins beyond Halloween has been steadily growing in the past 30 years. The pumpkin varieties today were developed to have a better flavor and texture than those widely grown several decades ago.
The fruit also contains Vitamins A, C, and E, together with other minerals, making it a viable option for the growing health-conscious market. It is also becoming a popular alternative to meat among vegetarians because of its hearty flesh, despite being 90% water.
In recent years, pumpkin farms were becoming popular recreational sites. People flock to pumpkin farms to experience fruit harvesting, play in a pumpkin patch maze, do face painting, and for adults, gin drinking.
More and more people realize that pumpkins are not just Halloween monsters but an enjoyable fruit for all seasons!