General descriptions

Latin Name: Cucurbita Maxima

Pumpkin is a round, hollow, vegetable. They can be green, orange, or yellow. They grow any size and spread outwards on the ground as they grow. They have green leaves, and yellow flowers.

Use

Orange flesh inside the pumpkin is used in cooking. Pumpkin is sometimes used for holidays as decoration. The seeds can be roasted as well. You can eat the male flower, they will be the first flowers to grow, only eat after the pollen has matured. The leaves are edible as well.

Cooking

Pumpkin flesh is cooked in stews and soups, roasted, and mashed into breads and cakes. The flowers are usually battered and fried. The seeds are usually roasted in oil. Leaves have to be prepared properly, remove the fibers and sauté for the best flavor.

Nutritional value

Pumpkin is 49 calories per 116 grams. Is a good source of vitamin A, C, K, and B-2. Contains the minerals copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, non-heme iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. The leaves, flowers, and seeds can be eaten as well and contain the same nutritional value as the flesh. Good source of beta-carotene and fiber.

Planting

Needs lots of space to expand and grow. Plant pumpkin in full sun. You will need compost and/or manure to support them. Plan for around 80 growing days total. Pumpkin grows best when seeds are planted 2.5 cm directly into the ground. Water pumpkin plants a little bit more and consistently during the first weeks, but don’t overwater or else you will get fungal growth. Once pumpkins begin growing they need less care. Pumpkins are ready for harvest when they are a full orange color, and make a hollow sound when you knock on the rind. Leave the stem on the pumpkin when harvesting, it will help keep the pumpkin fresh for a longer amount of time. Uncut pumpkin should be kept in a cold dark place for up to 2 months.

Side effects

There are no known negative side effects.

Benefits

Pumpkins are a powerhouse gourd that contain many essential vitamins and minerals. They are diverse when it comes to cooking. Full of beta-carotene, pumpkin prevents damage to eyes. Full of antioxidants. Helps with blood-sugar levels. Helps prevent heart disease and cancer and aids in fighting diabetes.

Picture of the gardens

Categories: Plants