Pumpkin

Related to squash, melon and cucumber grow on vines, large yellow flowers, Prickly leaves
Choose firm, bright well colored pumpkins. Avoid pumpkins which are broken, cracked, have soft spots or excessive scarring to the skin.
Pumpkin is a very versatile vegetable, being suitable for all types of cooking, both sweet and savory. As a vegetable in its own right, the pumpkin may be baked, boiled, mashed and roasted. Traditional recipes include pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and pumpkin scones. Small pumpkins are ideal for stuffing with savory mince or vegetable combinations, topped with cheese and baked. Incorporated into cakes, scones and puddings, pumpkin adds flavors, Colour and goodness.

Pumpkins require well drained soil. They will not tolerate wet, poorly aerated soil, however, it is desirable that it be capable of retaining moisture. A soil of medium texture is best, but good yields can be produced on heavier and lighter soils if they are properly handled and well fertilized. Pumpkins have large but shallow root systems which grow rapidly and extensively in the upper 15-20 centimeters of soil. The upper layers of the soil should be thoroughly prepared and well fertilized for best results. In general, pumpkins flourish in warm, humid conditions, but they are highly susceptible to hot, dry winds.

The pumpkin belongs to the cucurbit family, Cucurbitaceae, together with the squash, cucumber and watermelon. The name appears to come from the Greek “pepon” or “large melon” by way of the French, which converts the word “pepon” to “popon”. This eventually became “Pumpioin” with the ending being converted to “kin” in the American colonies, becoming”pump-kin”. Cucurbita maxima apparently originated in Northern Argentina near the Andes. It was found growing at the time of the Spanish conquest and has only been found elsewhere following introduction by man. Both of the other long vining species, Cucurbita moschate and Cucurbita pepo apparently originated in Mexico and Central America, being carried throughout North America before the coming of white man. The earliest pumpkin material yet discovered came from the Ocampo Caves in Mexico where they are believed to have existed as long ago as 5500 - 7000 B.C.. From America, the pumpkin is believed to have been introduced to Asia and Europe by nomadic tribes

 

Varieties 

Butternut, Sweet Dumpling, Golden Nugget, Jap/Ken Special, Jarradale and Queensland Blue

 

Growing Areas

QLD - Atherton, Beaudesert, Bowen, Bundaberg, Fassifern Valley, Lockyer Valley NSW - Bathurst, Cowra, Dareton, Finley, Forbes, Gosford, Griffith, Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Naro, Windsor VIC - Ballarat, Melbourne Metropolitan Area, Sunraysia, Warrnambool SA - Adelaide Plains, Riverland WA - Gin Gin, Perth Metropolitan Outer Areas, Waroona NT - Darwin, Katherine

Nutritional Value:
Excellent source of vitamin A and C. A good source of dietary fibre and contains some potassium, vitamin B6 and iron. 185kJ/100g An

 

Storage/Handling

15°C and 85 - 95% relative humidity.

 

Consumer Storage

If pumpkin is whole, it will store well at room temperature. If pumpkin is cut, remove seeds, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator crisper.

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