Pumpkin (cucurbita pepo)
Cultivation of the cucumber dates back 9,000 years ago to its native regions in South and Central America. Naturalized to the eastern United States, the Native American tribes in the New England area cultivated pumpkins and other squashes as staples of their diet long before the arrival of the Europeans.
Pumpkins are an important winter vegetable for the seasonal eater, providing the greatest vitamin A of all common fruit and vegetables. They are also high in iron, potassium, and phosphorus. They offer excellent nutrition as well!
- Store pumpkins in a cool, dry place. Pumpkins will last at room temperature for several weeks, and at 40-50 degrees for several months. Do not refrigerate unless cut open.
- Pumpkin may be cooked, pureed, and packed into airtight containers and frozen for later use in soups or baked goods.