California is ALL ABOUT Pumpkins – A Pumpkin Primer


Photos: Cute kid at pumpkin patch in Solvang; pumpkin patch with rusty car in Carmel Valley

We’re not the largest pumpkin producer in the U.S. California doesn’t even set the record for the world’s biggest pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,818.5 -pounds in 2011, and was grown by Jim Bryson of Quebec, Canada. But we celebrate pumpkins in a big “weigh” at the annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival which has measured some world-record setters in past years at the Half Moon Bay Championship Weigh Off.

The best way to celebrate fall season is to embrace the pumpkin and there are countless opportunities to do so in California. One of our favorite methods of paying homage is visiting a pumpkin patch where the pumpkins are actually grown. Pick one out and take it home to assure its freshness. However, city pumpkin patches offer much bang for your buck with petting zoos, kiddie carnival rides, food and entertainment. It’s not a fun setting for those who simply love to spend an afternoon in the sunshine surrounded by bright orange pumpkins displayed in bins or on bales of hay.

Pumpkins in California:

  • The city of Calabasas gets its name from the Spanish word for pumpkin, calabaza.
  • Pumpkin festivals in Calabasas, Half Moon Bay and pumpkin events such as Pumpkins on the Pier in Pismo Beach all bring merriment to the pumpkin, the star of the show.
  • The Palo Alto Glass Pumpkin Patch provides a unique art-based celebration of pumpkins.
  • The time honored tradition of pumpkin chucking is celebrated each year at Cal State Fullerton. Teams build catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Pumpkin Launch takes place on November 10, 2012 as a fundraiser for Discovery Science Center,
  • Pumpkin is extremely popular as a seasonal fruit cooked in soups and bisques at the trendiest restaurants.
  • Pumpkin is chock full of vitamins and things that are good for you.
  • Pumpkins make great backdrops for kids, pets and family portraits.



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