November 7 – Pumpkin Destruction Day

Posted on November 7, 2015

The first Saturday of November is Pumpkin Destruction Day at The Rock Ranch in Georgia. People are able to bash, smash, chunk, or drop their pumpkins. There are pumpkin-bombing planes (hmmm...this worries me a bit!), pumpkin-demolishing monster trucks, and pumpkin archery. There is a 50-foot fork lift from which you can drop your pumpkin, giant hammers with which you can smash your pumpkin, and even a cannon with which to shoot your pumpkin (with a satisfying squish-splash when hit hits the ground). There are games of pumpkin darts and pumpkin bowling.

In other ways, you can destroy and demolish your pumpkins in almost every way possible!

Except, I guess, they don't bring in elephants! They probably should bring in a few elephants

By the way...I think it is interesting that The Rock Ranch sells pumpkins earlier in the fall. They advertise that they sell all shapes and sizes of pumpkins. Many families enjoy taking autumn photos in the pumpkin patch early in the season – and, I imagine, take less-beautiful photos of Pumpkin Destruction Day!

Or videos...

I wonder if they play music by Smashing Pumpkins during the event? 

Of course, smashing pumpkins can be satisfying because they are partially hollow and filled with yucky guts. Just remember to never, ever squish/squash, destroy/demolish, or otherwise smash pumpkins that do not belong to you!!

I got to wondering...

As I saw the elephants squashing pumpkins video I linked to above, I realized that the zoo organizing the event called it “the Squishing of the Squash.” And I got to wondering about the difference between squashes, gourds, vegetable marrows, and pumpkins.

There are so many variations in color
in the pumpkin / squash / gourd /
marrow family, you can create a sort
of mosaic with them.
I discovered that there is quite a bit of overlap between these names – with one word or another used for a particular variation depending on where you live. The only hope to sort them out is to use species names...but even that is tricky, because each species name includes a LOT of what I think of as very different foods / decorative gourds!

First, pumpkins, gourds, squashes, and marrows all belong to the family Cucubitaceae, which also includes melons and cucumbers.

That family is subdivided into 125 genera, one of which is Cucurbita.

The genus Cucurbita includes four species that we commonly call pumkins, squash, gourds, or marrows:

C. pepo
  • Zucchini
    most jack-o-lantern pumpkins
  • acorn squash
  • delicata squash
  • most ornamental gourds
  • vegetable marrows
  • zucchini
  • pattypan
  • spaghetti squash
Vegetable marrows
jack-o-lantern pumpkins

C. maxima
  • hubbard squash
  • giant pumpkins
  • buttercup squash
  • pink banana squash
  • gray banana squash
  • jarrahdale squash
  • kabocha squash
  • winter keeper squash
  • Cinderella pumpkins
Cinderella pumpkins

C. moschata
  • butternut squash
  • futtsu squash
  • Long Island cheese pumpkin
  • winter crookneck squash
  • Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck
  • Seminole pumpkin
Butternut Squash
C. argyrosperma
  • cushaws

Another common “gourd” is another genus:

Lagenaria siceraria
  • calabash, or bottle gourd

Most of the pumpkins, gourds, and squashes are from the New World, specifically North America, but of course many of these names are from Old World languages such as Italian (zucchini) and French (pumpkin, which comes from pompon). The calabash is an Old World plant often used for making water containers.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the collapse of a bridge

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