A love in Common for pumpkins
Morton, Illinois: The Pumpkin Capital of the World
Pumpkin Carving 101
Its scientific name is cucurbita maxima, and it provides sustenance and nutrition to millions of people around the world. The pumpkin is a New World crop that has gone global over the centuries, and no one really knows exactly when someone first decided to cut designs on the outside of this humble, yet important, variety of winter squash. Many thousands of designs, both simple and elaborate, were on display this past weekend in Boston Common, which is one of America’s oldest parks. The aim of this event was simple: to assemble the most jack o’lanterns in one single location, thereby creating a new world record. The existing record was held by the town of Keane, New Hampshire which in 2003 brought together an astounding 28,952 carved and lit pumpkins at their annual Pumpkin Festival. However, that record was eclipsed with the help of many energetic Bostonians who helped bring in over 30,000 pumpkins to the heart of that fair city. The residents of Keene have not offered any formal response, but a few people in the know have already remarked that this town of 22,000 in New Hampshire was able to muster up a total number of pumpkins that far exceeded the number of local residents.
The first link leads to a piece from this Monday’s online edition of USA Today that offers some nice coverage of the recent pumpkin-centered festivities in Boston. Moving along, the second link will take users to an article from the Boston Globe that reports on the successful effort made to break this world record, and how it all unfolded. The third link leads to the homepage of the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Morton, Illinois is the self-professed “Pumpkin Capital of the World”, and visitors to this site can learn about their festival and view photographs of the “punkin’ chuckin’” contests, which involve heaving pumpkins to their certain destruction with the aid of mechanized catapults and air cannons. The fourth link is fairly self-explanatory, as it contains information about growing very large pumpkins. The site contains some rather fun pumpkin-themed cartoons and a thorough listing of existing world records from the annals of pumpkin propagation. The fifth link leads to 224 recipes that utilize the pumpkin in some fashion, offered up by the good people at Epicurious.com. The last link leads to a site where both novice and more experienced pumpkin carvers can learn about improved pumpkin carving technique, tools, and of course innovations in pumpkin lighting.