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.