Harvest of the Month: Pumpkins

Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. The bright orange color of pumpkin indicates that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Current research shows signs that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may lower the risk of certain types of cancer and may offer protection against heart disease.

Eighty percent of the U.S. pumpkin supply is available in October. In the U.S., pumpkins are grown mainly for processing, and a small percentage is grown for ornamental sales. In California, about 90% of pumpkins are grown specifically for Halloween. Most pumpkins are sold in local markets or directly to consumers at you-pick pumpkin patches, farmers’ markets, and food retail stores.

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