The promiscuous pumpkin has a rather humble beginning.Pumpkins were among the earliest cultivated plants in North America, dating to the early Archaic Indian era.
The pumpkin was completely used by the First Americans, who preserved some seeds for planting, ate both the seeds and soft insides, used portions of the plant to feed animals, then used the colorful outside skin for seasonal decoration.Travel in north Georgia on any fall weekend and you are guaranteed to see pumpkins.While carved pumpkins are a special treat normally reserved for Halloween, in the north Georgia mountains the pumpkin is an integral part of the fall display of color.Add a few corn stalks and perhaps some mums, and the sight is a beauty to behold!Whether you like the traditional orange or tan pumpkins, or select one of the newer varieties including red, white or blue (yes, there is such a thing as a blue pumpkin) your choice of color is now virtually unlimited.The name pumpkin, however, comes to us from the Greek islands courtesy of the French, who adopted "pepon" to "pompon," although this member of the squash family is definitely North American in origin.
Columbus mentions finding it during his first journey to the New World.
Within a century of its discovered by Europeans, pumpkins were known throughout the civilized world.
The pumpkin, like the potato, was an integral part of the so-called "agricultural revolution." Easy to grow and loaded with important vitamins and minerals, pumpkins quickly became a staple of the fall diet, especially for those less fortunate.
Pumpkin Carving Traditionally, gourds and other fruit were carved to represent the end of the harvest season by a number of northern European cultures.
Today it is impossible to determine where the tradition started, however, once the pumpkin was introduced into European culture, it quickly supplanted all other carved objects to represent the end of the harvest.
The most popular story of how pumpkin carving originated comes from Ireland, however, there is no historic accuracy to the story.