From lattes to chapstick and even pizza, the pumpkin spice craze has hit an all-time high this fall. But long before there was pumpkin pie, cheerios, and pumpkin spice marshmallows, the pumpkin was a fall tradition for over 5,000 years.
We wanted to share with you some fun facts about pumpkins, the best local farms, and patches, as well as some of our favorite fall and pumpkin decorating tips.
- Did you know that it is actually a fruit? And, the first time it was referred to as a pumpkin was in the fairy tale Cinderella. You might recall how Cinderella’s fairy godmother helped her transform a golden pumpkin and six gray mice into a carriage to take her to the ball to meet her prince charming! The word pumpkin comes from the Latin word pepeon which means large melon!
- The practice of carving pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns originated in Ireland, but it wasn’t pumpkins they were carving, instead, they carved turnips, beets, and potatoes. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America in the 1840s and it soon became an integral part of our fall festivities.
- The world’s largest pumpkin was more than five feet in diameter and weighed over 1,800 pounds! The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed over 2,020 pounds; now that is a lot of pumpkin pie!
- Sorry Starbucks, you didn’t start the pumpkin spice fad. In the 1700s Colonists would cut off the tops of pumpkins and fill them with milk, spices, and honey, then bake them in hot ashes!
- Pumpkins have over 500 seeds and are a superfood, high in fiber and low in calories. They also pack an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.
- Over 1.5 billion pumpkins are produced each year, with the majority being grown in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California!
- Morton, Illinois is known as the pumpkin capital of the world and according to the University of Illinois, it is responsible for 80% of the world’s canned pumpkin products.
- There are over 40 varieties of pumpkins that range in size and color.
- Most pumpkins are harvested in October, just in time for Halloween!
Local Spots for Pumpkin Picking
While we may not live in the pumpkin capital of the world, it is October and there are plenty of local farms and pumpkin patches to explore.
The team at Suzanne and Company Real Estate in Bedford has put together a list of our favorite farms and pumpkin patches, as well as a few of some creative pumpkin decorating ideas to share!
10 Pleasant St, Lexington MA
Celebrate fall at Wilson Farm in Lexington! Choose from hundreds of pumpkins, visit the farm stand for fresh produce, caramel apples and apple cider donuts. Walk through the haunted hay maze and marvel at the hundreds of pumpkins that decorate the building!
201 Hartwell Rd, Bedford, MA 01730
Visit Bedford’s favorite farm and country store to pick up pumpkins, gourds, farm fresh eggs and other delicious local products! Visit the animals, eat some ice cream and stop by the penny candy counter! Smolak Farms
315 S Bradford St, North Andover, MA 01845
Pick out your own pumpkins, shop at the farm stand and enjoy great family-friendly activities, such as a corn maze, hay rides, farm animals, bouncy house and so much more!
31 Tadmuck Rd, Westford, MA 01886
We love Drew Farms for apple picking, but think that the pumpkin harvest just might be our favorite time to visit this pet-friendly farm! Their pick-your-own pumpkins allow you to select the perfect pumpkin! Don’t forget their yearly pumpkin light night with hundreds of carved and lit pumpkins throughout the orchard! Check out their Facebook Page for more information on dates and times!
106 W Acton Rd, Stow, MA 01775
Shelburne Farm might be famous for their apple picking and apple cider donuts, but their pumpkin patch is worth the trip! They are open weekends in the fall and feature lots of family fun events!
Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
Suzanne Koller and family decorate our offices at 90 Great Road with hay bales, mums, and pumpkins. Our flower containers are filled with more mums, ornamental peppers, grass, pumpkins, pansies, sedum, and vibrant cocksomb.
Nicole Donohoe, Buyer Specialist, and Showing Assistant, loves decorating her home and porch with pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and mums! She loves selecting white pumpkins and painting rather than carving them.
Carol Lee Collins, the Marketing Coordinator, loves to use apple baskets, hay, and pumpkins to create a pumpkin stack to greet guests in the fall. She also loves to experiment with pumpkins of different sizes and colors and loves the variegated ones!
We hope that you enjoy these great pumpkin tips and welcome you to share any of your own.