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Pumpkins

 AgFact #4:  90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the United States are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois

In 2011, U.S. pumpkins farmers harvested  47,300 acres of pumpkins valued at $113 million. Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan are the top pumpkin producing states.

Majority of these pumpkins are canned at  Libby’s® pumpkin processing plant owned by Nestlé Food Company in Morton,Illinois; which cans more than 85 percent of the world’s pumpkin each year.

Pumpkins can range in size from less than one pound to more than 1,000 pounds. . The 5- to 10-pound pie pumpkin varieties are most often grown. Pumpkins in the 10- to 25-pound range are primarily used for jack-o-lanterns and can also be used for processing. Pumpkins above 25 pounds are called giant. Giant pumpkins typically range between 25 to 75 pounds in size.

Pumpkins are fruit rich in Vitamin A and potassium. Native Americans used pumpkins in variety way including material for mats but also used the seed for food and seed.  Similar to the first Thanksgiving, the pumpkin is a featured ingredient.

University of Illinois Pumpkin Facts

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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The Great Pumpkin

Thanksgiving is a holiday for family and friends to sit down around the table to enjoy feast of choice and count their blessings. The first Thanksgiving feast between the Pilgrims and Indians was a three-day celebration of a Great Harvest. Many American Families will partake in this annual feast first proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln as a National Holiday.

America is blessed with hardworking farm families that provide a variety of abundant, inexpensive food.  As Thanksgiving fast approaches, I hope you follow along as I share a glimpse from field to table on common food dishes served on Thanksgiving Day. I hope you see why we should be Food Thankful on Thanksgiving and every day.

PUMPKINS

I think it is only fitting to start with desert first.  After all my home state of Illinois-land of Corn and Soybeans-actually ranks #1 in Production.

The pumpkin originated from Central America.   In early Colonial times, the pumpkin was original used in the crust of pies and not the filling. Colonists actually cut off the top of pumpkins, removed the seeds and filled the inside with milk, spices, and honey.  The pumpkin was then baked over hot ashes to create the original form of the pumpkin pie.

Today, pumpkins are mainly grown for processing with a small percentage grown for decoration.  A total of 1.06 billion pounds of Pumpkins, valuing $117 million, were grown on 50,200 acres in the United States in 2010.  Illinois leads the states in growing over 4 million pounds.  Morton, Illinois has been crowned Pumpkin Capital of the World with 85% of the world’s pumpkins processed at the Libby’s Plant owned by Nestle Food Company.

The pumpkin is actually a fruit that grows on vines.  It is 90% water and packed full of potassium and Vitamin A.  The seeds of the pumpkins are edible and usually are roasted for a tasty snack. Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies, and breads.

You can Virtually Visit a large Pumpkin Farm;

Watch as they plant, grow, and harvest Pumpkins for Libby’s.

Other Videos:

Pumpkin Harvest in Illinois brought to you by Illinois Farm Bureau

Pumpkin Trivia:

  • The largest Pumpkin Pie ever made was over 5 feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.  It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkins, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, and 6 hours to bake
  • The largest Pumpkin weighted 1, 140 pounds
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Source:  University of Illinois Extension

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in food

 

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