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The CAMP System
The CAMP System
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Coming into
Balance and Harmony
With Food
Pumpkins are placed in the scientific group called Cucurbita, a group that includes squash, cantaloupes, cucumbers, watermelon and gourds. In fact, pumpkins, summer squash, acorn squash and zucchini are all varieties of the same species of plant!

Pumpkins are fruit. There are over 800 different varieties grown in the warmer regions of every continent except Antarctica.

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Cucurbito pipo
Pumpkins come in many shapes, sizes and hues. Mature pumpkins vary from round to oblong and have a smooth firm flesh with a hard grooved rind. Pumpkins come in many colors besides the common orange that we expect—there is even a blue variety grown in Eastern Europe. They range in size from less than a pound to over a 1,000 pounds. The largest pumpkin on record weighed 1,140 pounds.
Physical Features
Over 1.7 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced annually in the United States. Pumpkins are grown in every state (including Alaska) on over 10,000 farms. 75,000 acres of farmland are used for raising pumpkins. At 25%, Illinois produces the greatest percentage of the U.S. crop. California comes in second, at 10%. There is little interstate trade in pumpkins; nearly all pumpkins purchased come from local farms. The per capita use of pumpkins is about 6 pounds. Most pumpkins are processed into pie filling. The second largest use is for decorative purposes. Close to 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

When You Eat...
Trees are another resources of pumpkin harvest, as the pumpkins are stored in wooden bins.
Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America and have been cultivated for over 7000 years. Seeds from related plants have been dated to 5,500 BC. Pumpkins were a staple in the diets of Native Americans centuries before the pilgrims landed. In addition to cooking with pumpkins they also dried the shells, cut them into strips and weaved them to make mats.
Pumpkins grow on long vines and require 50 to 100 square feet in which to grow. They take about four months to mature. The vine produces two flowers: male flowers (larger and growing up above the vines) and female flowers (smaller and close to the vine). At the base of the female flower is a tiny green pumpkin, ready to swell up to full size after pollination. Honey bees are the main agent of pollination, although some is done by human hand. All pumpkins are hand harvested.
Life Cycle