Pumpkins And Such




In autumn, we see a lot of pumpkins used as decorations, there are pumpkin patches where some families go for a seasonal adventure, and there are many foods and drinks that are made with pumpkin ( or at least made to taste like pumpkin).  If your family doesn’t do any of these  things, or  if you don’t enjoy  pumpkin, that’s ok.  Everyone is unique and we don’t all have to enjoy the same things.

A lot of children do enjoy pumpkins and a long time ago, there was a young boy named Almanzo Wilder who grew a GREAT, BIG pumpkin.  Can you guess his secret?  He did it by feeding it milk!  You can read about Almanzo and his giant pumpkin in the book Farmer Boy .  (The book was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who became Alamanzo’s wife when he was an adult.)

Maybe you would like to grow a milk fed pumpkin with your family.  You can find out more information on the process at this link.

Not only did Almanzo enjoy growing pumpkin, but he also enjoyed eating pumpkin.  In fact, Almanzo enjoyed eating a variety of food that was raised on his family farm.  Here is an excerpt from the book:

“Almanzo ate the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy boiled potatoes, with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep in velvety bread spread with sleek butter, and he ate the crisp golden crust. He demolished a tall heap of pale mashed turnips, and a hill of stewed yellow pumpkin. Then he sighed, and tucked his napkin deeper in the neckband of his red waist. And he ate plum preserves and strawberry jam, and grape jelly, and spiced watermelon-rind pickles. He felt very comfortable inside. Slowly he ate a large piece of pumpkin pie.”

pumpkin pie with whipped cream


Laura, the lady who married Almanzo when he grew up, wrote other books as well.  Her books, The Little House on the Prairie Series, are based on her life as a child growing up in the Midwest in the 1800’s.  In one of the books, THE LONG WINTER,  she tells about a time when they did not have apples to make a pie and her Ma made a mock apple pie out of a green pumpkin!  She also talks about she and her sister Mary playing with their dolls in the attic among the squashes and pumpkins stored for the winter  in the book LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS




We sometimes raise pumpkins here at the Cupp Farm and we enjoy growing some more unusual vegetables that we often use in the place of pumpkins for baking, as we like them better.

The cushaw is big and green striped.  You can read more about it here.

The Pennsylvania Crookneck Squash is also known as a “Neck Pumpkin”.  You can learn more about it here.

Both the Cushaw and the Pennsylvania Crookneck can be used in place of pumpkin for baking and also make wonderful fall decorations.




pa squash


Pumpkin Themed Activities:

The Pumpkin Project~ Math, Science and Fun

A Pumpkin Unit ~ Filled with lessons, printables and more

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Another Recipe for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds (Sugar and Cinnamon)

boy cartoon character holding pumpkin



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