Fall is a great time to teach children about harvest and, of course, pumpkins! While you’re decorating your yard, cooking, and carving pumpkins, use the opportunity to share these fun pumpkin facts with your child.
- Archeologists found pumpkin seeds that were about 8000-10,000 years old in caves in Mexico.
- The Iroquois called pumpkins, beans, and corn the Three Sisters and planted these three crops together. This is because they help each other grow better: the corn stalks provide poles for the bean plants to climb, the beans add an important nutrient called nitrogen to the soil that helps the corn grow, and the pumpkin leaves and vines shade the ground and keep weeds from growing.
- Native Americans used pumpkins not just for food, but also for medicine. They even wove mats from strips of flattened and dried pumpkin shells.
- Explorers brought pumpkins from the Americas to Europe in the 1500s. Pumpkins are now grown on all of the continents except Antarctica!
- American colonists created the first “pumpkin pies” by slicing the tops off of pumpkins; scooping out the seeds; filling the insides with milk, spices, and honey; and baking the pumpkins over ashes.