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Land of Pumpkins: Illinois is the Top Pumpkin Producing State in the United States

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It's the season of all pumpkin everything and today the nation is celebrating National Pumpkin Day! To honor the day, we're letting people know about some cool pumpkin facts, one of them is that Illinois is the top producing pumpkin state in the U.S.! 

According to the Illinois Farm Bureau Partners, the town of Morton is known as the Pumpkin Capital of the World and there is one of two pumpkin processing facilities there called Nestle Libby's. The other is Seneca Foods, located in Princeville. 

So why is it that Illinois can produce all of these pumpkins? There are a couple of different reasons. Pumpkins grow well in the climate in Illinois, and in its certain soil types. Mohammad Babadoost, a plant pathologist and professor at the University of Illinois, told ILFB Partners that a pumpkin processing industry was established in the state back in the 1920s, and decades of experience and dedication helped Illinois maintain its high pumpkin production. 

Some Illinois farms sell to major retailers including Walmart and a ton feature Pumpkin Picking during the Fall Season, along with other seasonal festivities for those of all ages to enjoy. Siegel's Cottonwood Farm in Lockport is an example of a farm that makes the most out of the Fall time, giving locals an array of entertainment to choose from.


Photo by Jill111 via Pixabay

Check out some more cool pumpkin facts below!

  • Pumpkins take about 120 days to grow from planting to harvest
  • 680,000 tons of pumpkins are produced each year in the United States
  • All pumpkins are a variety of winter squash
  • China used pumpkin leaves for a variety of different soups
  • The orange color in pumpkins comes from beta carotene
  • The pumpkin spice latte was first launched at Starbucks in 2003
  • Some pumpkins have been weighed in at a whopping 2,000 pounds
  • Millions of pumpkins are grown and used as food for animals
  • Antarctica is the only continent where pumpkins aren't grown
  • Along with the traditional color orange, pumpkins can also be found in yellow and white varieties
  • The word pumpkin originates from the Greek word pepon, which simply means "large melon"
  • Curcubita Pepo is the official Latin name for pumpkin
  • Pumpkins are filled with 2% protein
  • Illinois is the top pumpkin producing state in the United States
  • Pumpkins are a rich source of Vitamin A


Photo by hhach via Pixabay

  • The sugar variety of pumpkins is most often used for baking
  • In Central and Eastern Europe, pumpkin seed oil is used for cooking
  • In Europe, Mexico & China - pumpkin seeds are quite the popular snack
  • Early American Colonists used to call pumpkins "pumpions"
  • 95% of all pumpkins grown to make pies and pie filling come from Illinois
  • All squashes and pumpkins are native plants of North America
  • The pumpkin most often used for Jack O' Lanterns is the Connecticut Field variety
  • The word “pompom” in English is derived from the French word for pumpkin, meaning something round and large
  • Bees are relied on by pumpkins to fertilize the flowers via cross pollination
  • In the Harry Potter book series, pumpkin juice is a popular drink among the students
  • In Britain and Australia, the word "pumpkin" can refer to any type of squash
  • Pumpkin chunking is the sport where a pumpkin is hurled as far as possible using a machine
  • Gourds are the most popular type of pumpkin used for decorating
  • A White Lumina is an unusual, medium-sized white pumpkin

What do you use your pumpkins for during the Fall Season? Let us know by commenting below!

       

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Tags: Illinois pumpkin production, pumpkin production in Illinois, Illinois pumpkins, Illinois top pumpkin producer