Pumpkins are an astounding vegetable from the squash family which can be found small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and large enough that some varieties weigh in at over 1,500 pounds. They are filled with nutrition and healthy goodness; the brightly colored stars of fall.
According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, “The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers to protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.”
William Moss came out to my neighborhood to talk about pumpkins and brought his prize cheese pumpkins with me for the discussion. I have never held a fully-ripe green cheese pumpkin and was captivated by their crinkly, knobby look and deeply ribbed flat shape. What a vegetable!
In the video below, William and I discuss simple tips to determine when pumpkins are ripe and how you and your children can decorate and eat them in the fall.
The photo to the right shows my little girl being filmed painting pumpkins by William Moss’s video crew – you never know what excitement is going to happen in the garden from day to day if you live at my place. She happily went along with the shoot and had a fantastic time – pumpkins make kids happy!
Special thanks to William Moss and his amazing video team for making our mini-video series so fabulous! William has a fantastic list of accomplishments beyond tv; he works with the National Gardening Association as “Moss In the City”, and on his websites, www.garden.org/urbangardening & www.wemoss.org , where he chronicles the challenges of gardening in a city and discusses horticultural techniques. William is about to complete a Master’s Degree program on Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His goal – to expand on his passion for creating natural wildlife corridors in urban areas.
— Burpee Home Gardens supplied the vegetables grown in the garden this season. I write many instructional stories and videos with their incredible vegetable products and donate a large portion of the vegetables to the local food pantry when harvested.