Nothing says autumn quite like the bright colors of pumpkins and squash. Whether you eat them, cook with them, or use them for decorations, they go along way toward making us realize the days are getting shorter and a little cooler, and the holidays are just around the corner. We visited two local pumpkin patches to gather some pumpkins and squash to begin our Thanksgiving decorating and to enjoy some healthy, fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.
We visited two nearby pumpkin patches. First we visited Douglas Farm on Sauvie Island in the Columbia River, near Portland Oregon. It was a beautiful fall day for pumpkin picking. When it’s clear out, you get a great view of our beloved Mt. Hood from this farm.
We also visited Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie island and found lots of bright orange Cinderella pumpkins.
We came home with lots of orange and white pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins, and various squash, including Hubbard squash. Do you know the difference between pumpkin and squash? It can be a little confusing. The terms pumpkin, winter squash, and summer squash have been applied to fruits of different species. There are countless varieties of pumpkin and squash. We wanted to use our pumpkins and squash for decorating. First, though, we harvested the seeds so we could roast them for a delicious, healthy treat.
After the seeds are separated from the pulp and cleaned, you can see the different colors even better. These seeds are all ready for roasting.
Pumpkins and squash date back to colonial America and are one of America’s oldest native crops. The flesh and seeds of pumpkins and squash have been used numerous ways over the centuries. Native Americans dried the outer shells and used them as water vessels and bowls. The Pilgrims even made them into an alcoholic beverage that included persimmons, hops, maple syrup, and, of course, pumpkin.
If you want to experiment with pumpkin and squash recipes, here are some handy links: