By Blair Thomas
More than 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the the United States each year, and more than 495 million of those pounds are grown in Illinois. The top pumpkin producing Illinois counties include Tazewell, Kankakee, Mason and Logan. Check out these pumpkin facts:
• Most pumpkins are grown for processing, not ornamental sales.
• Pumpkin flowers are edible.
• Pumpkins are a fruit.
• Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
• Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Today, they aren’t considered remedies to either.
• Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
• The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
Source: University of Illinois Extension