Pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins, painting pumpkins, pumpkin patches, pumpkin spice lattes—this time of the year is the time for all things pumpkin! Pumpkins get a lot of attention in the fall, but do you know much about them? Pumpkins are a lot more interesting than most of us realize. Read through the pumpkin facts below with your child, and see if either of you learn anything new about this favorite fall food.
Interesting Pumpkin Facts
- Pumpkins grow on every continent except Antarctica.
- In 2017, the world produced over 30 million tons of pumpkins. That’s over 60 billion pounds!
- That same year (2017), the United States produced over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins.
- A pumpkin is a fruit, not a vegetable. This is because pumpkins have seeds.
- More specifically, pumpkins are part of the squash family. (Yes, squash are fruit too!) They are also related to melons and cucumbers.
- Pumpkins can come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They can be white, green, yellow, and even blue!
- Pumpkins are made of 90% water. That’s a higher percentage than humans; humans are composed of roughly 60% water.
- You can make all kinds of food with pumpkin—bread, soup, pie, pasta, and more!
- The top pumpkin-producing states in the United States are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.
- Morton, Illinois is the Pumpkin Capital of the World. It’s also home to Libby, the popular pumpkin brand!
- There are hundreds of types of pumpkins around the world.
- The current world record for the largest pumpkin was set in October 2021, with a giant pumpkin in Italy weighing in at 2,703 pounds.
- Pumpkins typically contain an average of 500 seeds. Some people enjoy munching on roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Smaller pumpkins are typically sweeter than larger ones, making them better for pie and other desserts.
- Speaking of pie, the largest pumpkin pie ever recorded was 3,699 pounds and 20 feet long! The New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers from Ohio hold this claim to fame.
- You can eat every part of a pumpkin, including the stem, skin, flowers, and leaves!
Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about pumpkins, it’s time to do all the pumpkin things! Pick a few pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch, then carve them, paint them, or bake something with them. If you’re feeling ambitious, maybe you’ll try to break the record for the largest pumpkin pie—good luck!