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Growing On The High Plains: The Pumpkin Chronicles

It's almost Halloween, so I thought I'd spend this week's edition of Growing on the High Plains prattling on about an October tradition: pumpkins! From tiny, white and smooth to huge, gray and bumpy, pumpkins these days are hardly limited to the traditional orange orbs of yore.

While it's a telling sign of Fall to see clusters of jack-o-lanterns adorning High Plains porch steps and oodles of pumpkin-flavored goodies at the local market, seldom do we pause and consider their history.

It's no surprise that Native Americans truly maximized the number of applications one could find for the squash. From cookery to brewing to kitchen containers, pumpkins were a staple throughout tribal life. I'll also share some secrets about which varieties make the best pie, and what secrets those pies might be hiding. 
Whether painted or carved, homegrown or purchased, I wish you all a safe and happy Halloween.  

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.