In Ireland, we find the use of vegetables to scare away evil spirits. It is believed that on October 31, which became Halloween over time, the spirits of the deceased could return to Earth. The Irish had to find a way to keep evil spirits away. To do so, they started cutting faces into turnips, hoping it would guard against evil spirits.
. In the 19th century, when many Irish immigrated to the United States, they brought this Halloween tradition of using the turnip to scare away evil spirits. They soon discovered a new vegetable, the pumpkin, which is harvested in the fall, and it was probably easier to carve a face in a pumpkin than a turnip!
But where does "Jack-o-Lantern" come from? That is likely an old Irish legend about Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil more than a few times. When Stingy Jack died, he was not allowed in heaven, and the devil would not let him in hell. So, the devil sent Jack off with burning coal, which he put in his carved-out turnip. The restless soul of Jack of the Lantern has been roaming the Earth ever since.
Today, we host Halloween parties and decorate our yards with pumpkins. Of course, Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie are now a tradition, and there is nothing like a Pumpkin Spice Latte to warm up on a crisp fall day.
To grow your pumpkins, you must plant them sometime between June 1 and July 1 for them to mature by Halloween. Most pumpkin varieties need about 90 to 120 days to reach maturity. Put pumpkins on your garden list for next year. Happy Halloween!