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Friday, October 15, 2010

Weird Things to do with Pumpkins

Mt. Pumpkinmore in the great state of North Dakota.
Autumn is the season for pumpkins. What would Halloween be without scary Mr. Pumpkinhead on the front porch? We all know the usual stuff you can do with pumpkins. Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkin pie, table decorations and so forth. But here are a few lesser known yet fascinating uses for our perennial, plump, pumpkin pals.
  • Even as far back as colonial times, settlers came up with novel ideas for pumpkins. They used pumpkin halves as guides for hair cuts. Hmmm...they must've had really big heads back then.
  • Rugs. Native American Indians cut pumpkin shells into strips, dried the pieces and used them to weave mats and rugs. Today that same process is used for making hair pieces for members of Congress.
  • In Boulder, Colorado, townsfolk place carved pumpkins on their heads and run naked though the streets for the annual Naked Pumpkin Run.
  • Pumpkins can actually float which is why Windsor, Nova Scotia holds a Pumpkin Paddling Regatta each fall. Participants gouge out giant pumpkins into "boats" and paddle them across a lake. Unfortunately, pumpkins cannot swim.
  • In some cultures, pumpkins are used for removing freckles and curing snakebites. Snakes are afraid of pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins can be mashed and brewed into beer...which tastes especially good with pumpkin chili.
  • Pumpkins are sometimes used as a substitute for golf balls. They're easier to hit and provide welcome stress-relief on the course. The down side is they don't go very far.
  • Another exciting pumpkin sport is a variation on lawn bowling. You need a big, steep hill for this game. Have one team of people stand at bottom of the hill. Line up a hundred pumpkins at the top of the hill. The starter team furiously rolls the pumpkins downhill aiming for as many opponents as possible.
  • Pumpkins make colorful yard decorations and offer an amusing way to offend your neighbors.
  • Pumpkin Chunkin' is a competition that involves hurling pumpkins into the air with medieval-looking catapults called trebuchets to see how far they "fly". The general rule is that the pumpkin must remain whole after leaving the device for it to count. Pumpkins that explode immediately upon firing are known as "pumpkin pie in the sky".
  • Need a house in a hurry? Super-size pumpkins can be converted into cozy little bungalows. Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater was awarded the first patent.

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ReformingGeek said...

I love the photos and I love pumpkin.

I'll take one of the bungalows!

Fran Hill said...

I can't quite believe those pumpkin boats. I wouldn't get in one, that's for sure, without being paid a lot of money.

Cheeseboy said...

Very informative.

I'd move to Boulder, but I don't think they could grow a pumpkin big enough.

Coffeypot said...

Pumpkins are fun to play with, but taste aweful. I cannot get one bit of pumpkin pid down the old gullet. But I am willing to try some pumpking beer.

Toyin O. said...

Thanks for sharing.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I love pumpkins, and pumpkin pie, bread, muffins, soup, etc., etc. I've never been big on decorating with them, but I DO love that picture of the, um, slightly offensive lawn ornaments!

Susan Ellis said...

we have the great pumpkin boat races here too...usually get the policitians in them. Love your pumpkin people, may have to go out
and make some for our yard! Also, we make homemade pumpkin pie...which is excellent at Thanksgiving

An English Shepherd said...

Looks like fun :-)


joanne lee said...

I would love a little pumpkin bungalow to hide out in!

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