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Pumpkin Pie vs Jack O' Lanterns!

The heated debate, would you rather carve a pumpkin or enjoy a slice of pie? I personally like to paint my annual pumpkin so I would have to say a slice of pie! When we think of pumpkins, we often think of the large and bright orange pumpkins suited for carving but did you know a pie pumpkin looks quite different? According to my quick Google search, there are over 50 popular pumpkin varieties!

The pumpkin is a cultivar of winter squash and was first grown in northeastern Mexico and southern United States. Pumpkins can come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Most pumpkins are orange but there are also yellow, red, white, gray, pale blue, green, etc. Farmers will grow different varieties depending on their intended use.

Decorations: If you have been to the state fair, you probably saw the giant pumpkins! If you want to win a competition for the largest pumpkin, I suggest planting an Atlantic Giant! There are a few good varieties good for giving spooky vibes like, Blue Lakota and Crown Prince. Some pumpkins have lots of texture and are warty like the Warty Goblin.

Cooking: Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin that is good for baking! It is delicious in soups or roasted! The Casper white pumpkin has a dense orange flesh and is perfect for making pies! The Long Island Cheese is also a pumpkin known for baking with. Pumpkins used for cooking have a lot of flesh. This is the part attached to the skin.

Carving: A large and not very heavy pumpkin is good for Jack O' Lanterns. Less weight means less pulp to remove! Win, Win! Autumn Gold and Harvest Moon are great varieties to carve with!

Okay so you are probably saying, well this is great and all, but now what do I do with this information? Here are 10 classroom ideas to implement today! We have video and book recommendations, complete lesson plans for ages PreK-5th grade, activity sheets, recipes, crafts, science experiments and more! Check it all out below. Visit our website to learn more about our program!!


1.How does it grow? Pumpkins: Great video for all ages!

2. Pumpkin life-cycle lesson plan October | mysite ( Students will gain a broader understanding about agriculture and will learn about the life cycle of the pumpkin.

3. Pumpkin Jack: composting lesson October | mysite ( Students investigate the phenomenon of decomposing pumpkins as a part of the plant's life cycle.

4. Pumpkin and squash activity mag

5. FarmChat Through Buchanan County - Pumpkins

6. Pumpkins, not just for Halloween lesson plan Matrix Lesson (

7. Pumpkin pie in a bag recipe October | mysite (

8. Recommended books: All about Pumpkins, The Great Pumpkin, Pumpkin Circle, Pumpkin Jack, and How many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

9. Pumpkin dissection

10. Taste test: pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie, etc.


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