Pumpkins, like many varieties of squash are indigenous to North America and while pumpkin pie was not served at the first Thanksgiving meal in the New World, early recipes suggest a pumpkin stew was a “standing dish” or regular part of the daily meal for early New England settlers. In fact, an early preparation was to scoop out the pumpkin, add milk, honey and spices and let it sit in the ashes until it formed what resembled a sweet pumpkin pudding.
Pumpkins were also used as vessels for storing grains, dried beans and seeds. It’s even been said a pumpkin could be held over a head to ensure an even haircut, leading to the expression “pumpkinhead!” And let’s not forget how Cinderella’s fairy godmother was able to turn a pumpkin into a carriage. If you love all things pumpkin, read on to find out how states across the country build activities and businesses around the yearly pumpkin harvest or to find a pumpkin patch or farm near you.