Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unveiled!...the mystery plant

It's a pumpkin!
In early August, I found a very vine-y plant with huge dark green leaves growing out of my compost pile. See it here. Many of you guessed correctly. The plant is now sporting 3 orange, rather small pumpkins.
How fun!
Ѽ Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America perhaps as far back as 7000 BC.

Ѽ The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon
" which is "pepon."
Did you know that Native American Indians dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats?!
Ѽ Depending on the variety, pumpkins can weigh 2 pounds up to 100 or more pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
Ѽ Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.
Ѽ Pumpkins grow all over the world except for Antarctica.
Ѽ Pumpkin flowers are edible as are the leaves (see recipes below).
Ѽ In the US, 90% of pumpkins are grown in Illinois.

Ѽ The largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed 2,020 pounds. It measured 12 feet, 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. See it here.Links
Ѽ recipes
Ѽ pumpkin records
Ѽ fried pumpkin flowers recipe
Ѽ an Indian style fried pumpkin flower recipe (note besan is chickpea flour)
Ѽ pumpkin leaves in peanut sauce recipe © by Melody Mundawarara

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After removing the seeds for the pumplin, rinse to remove pulp. Mix with salt and spread onto a large baking sheet. Bake at 150 degrees (low heat to retain nutrients) till fairly dry, stirring occasionally.

And there's more! from tamdoll-- In my town we have a Giant Pumpkin Regatta - 1,000+ pumpkins are hollowed out - outboard motors attached - and town officials race them up and down the river... it's crazy!   Some pictures here!

photo © by me 2009 except pie photo which is also ©


  1. Yay! I'm really glad you got pumpkins! (Sometimes cucurbit seeds turn into very weird hybrids if they cross-pollinate.)

    I love the pumpkin pie photo - and I really like roasted pumpkin seeds too.

  2. I knew it! :D Enjoy carving those for Halloween (or cooking them)! ooooh, and the seeds, I hope you get lots!

  3. How fun that you got pumpkins! We saw a lot growing in the fields around here but have never grown one ourselves. I love anything made with pumpkin!

  4. Yay! I was right about a plant...

    I remember the year I planted tiny ornamental gourds. I couldn't pull weeds, because I had a huge allergic reaction, and my husband... forgot. So, walking through the garden at harvest time, I found something that had been hidden: a mutant, two-foot long gourd that looked like a giant green bean! The weird, cool things that can grow... :)

  5. How cool! Fall is such a beautiful time of year. It's nice to see an orange pumpkin right now while the weather is so hot. It's like a promise of chilly weather, Halloween costumes and turkey dinner that's soon to follow.

  6. That's a huge pie! Love the facts on the pumpkin.


  7. Lucky you for having a pumpkin! And great pumpkin facts. I found your blog on

    Don't forget to check others out!

    Quintessentially x

  8. OK, now I need pumpkin pie! I love fall!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing.. There are several things that I just know about pumpkins.. ^-^

  10. How fun! Same type of thing has happened to use out of use of the compost!

    That pie, I want to jump onto it landing on my belly, face down.

    Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Yummy
    Sea salt, garlic powder, parm cheese...

  11. How fun is that!? And you have a gorgeous little pumpkin!

  12. I think that we had a similar surprise pumpkin plant last yer but the squirrels ate them before they got to any size.

    Thanks for popping by my blog!

  13. That pumpkin clearly wants to thrive! Cool pumpkin facts! :)

  14. Weeee pumpkin. Looks absolutely cuuute!

  15. Oh, I love pumpkins too! Here in our wet, short autumn, we struggle to grow good pumpkins, but it doesn't stop me trying every year!

  16. Well, this is what I call no-effort gardening! LOL. I have a black thumb, so this really made me laugh. You've put together a wonderful autumn post.

  17. that's great! Guess you threw an old pumpkin or something in the compost last year! {:-D

  18. your post told a lot about pumpkins.. in India we get them all round the year! they are so very tasty!

  19. Wow, some awesome pumpkiny facts! :) We don't have any pumpkins this year, but we do have some very fine looking butternut squashes growing... Hope your pumpkins grow well! :)

  20. What a nice surprise just in time for Halloween!

  21. How cool...glad you found out what it is :)

  22. Love this post and all the trivia! In my town we have a Giant Pumpkin Regatta - 1,000+ pumpkins are hollowed out - outboard motors attached - and town officials race them up and down the river... it's crazy! Some pictures here - (next one's in a few weeks and my husband gets to race in one, I can't wait!)

  23. Thanks for adding me to your blog post, too! I think I made a mistake, it's 1000lb. pumpkins. You can be sure I'll blog about it after the event! Check the flickr link, it didn't connect for me.

  24. This grew out of your compost heap?!! Now that really is food for free! Enjoy it!

  25. What fun! Enjoyed your fun facts =) Yummy pumkin seeds - you can use the same recipe for squash seeds, too ;-)


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