Pumpkins and the coming fall season are now on the minds of many in Vienna.
With trips to pumpkin fields and local fields already underway, it might be a good idea to brush up on everything pumpkin-related before heading to the larger pumpkin farms in or near Vienna.
Here are five things you may have wondered about pumpkins:
1. How they grow up
It’s not just the great pumpkin fields that produce the orange, the tradition of fall. Pumpkins can be grown in ordinary backyards, too, but only if there is enough space.
Pumpkins are often referred to as “garden gorillas,” gardening experts at HGTV said in a guide on how to grow pumpkins. The vines of large plants extend and develop throughout the growing season, much like watermelons. They grow quickly and can destroy other plants if left unchecked.
Backyard gardeners are known to tidy pumpkin plants along the edges of a vegetable patch, although some let their pumpkin vines roam the yard.
2. Where they grow up
The US Department of Agriculture has listed six states: Illinois, California, Indiana and Michigan. Virginia and Texas – are responsible for 40 percent of the acres of pumpkins harvested. Together, they produce on average between 4,700 and 5,600 acres of pumpkins per year, according to the USDA. Illinois tops the list of Pumpkin producing states, harvesting about 10,900 acres in 2019. The remaining top six states all average between 4,700 and 5,600 acres per year.
3. The Best Pumpkin Patches in Virginia
An article from Reader’s Digest released earlier this summer listed their picks for the best pumpkin patch in each state. In Virginia, Reader’s Digest ranked Chesterfield Berry Farm in Moseley as the best to visit.
Planning a longer fall trip? A “Drive The Nation” blog published a few years ago shows five of the largest pumpkin farms in the United States: The Great Pumpkin Farm, Clarence, New York; Cool Patch Pumpkins, Dixon, California; Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express, Bryson City, North Carolina; Frey Farms, Keenes, Illinois; and Craven Farm, Snohomish, Washington.
4. Pumpkin patches near Vienna
These places are, however, quite remote from Northern Virginia. The closest option to Vienna is DePaul’s Urban Farm, a garden center that turns into a pumpkin in the fall.
Check out our pumpkin guide for other options to visit.
5. The Halloween Connection
Since pumpkins are often made into pumpkin lanterns after being picked from plots and fields, some may wonder why they have been so closely associated with Halloween.
Pumpkins are often carved into pumpkin lanterns after being picked from plots and fields, but how did they become so closely associated with Halloween?
The practice of decorate pumpkin lanterns actually started in Ireland, according to History.com. The name of the jack-o’-lantern cones from an Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, where it mingled with other Halloween festivities.