Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Five seductive vegetables for your garden

Discover the origins and plant lore of these intriguing edibles and learn how to make them thrive in your garden

pumpkin-babyboo.jpgPumpkin ‘Baby Boo'

Cucurbita pepo

"For pottage and puddings and custard and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnip are common supplies:
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon!"
-American Pilgrim Verse, circa 1630

The pumpkin is one of our oldest native American crops, pumpkin seeds having been found both at Machu Pichu and in the caves of the basket-weaving tribes of Colorado and Arizona dating to 2000 B.C. Native Americans believed pumpkins had been brought to earth by the "Great Spirit" or "Maize Mother," who walked the fields and plains in human form, causing maize to grow from her footsteps and pumpkins and squash plants to sprout in her wake. In 1529, Hernando DeSoto reported from Tampa Bay, Florida, that: "Beans and pumpkins were in great plenty. Both are larger and better than those of Spain; the pumpkins when roasted had nearly the taste of chestnuts."

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