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Geography in the News: Pumpkins

Geography in the News: Pumpkins | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and pumpkins are already showing up at roadside stands. Jack o’lanterns, decorative displays and pumpkin pies are the main destinies of most pumpkins in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, however, the pumpkin is nearly exclusively considered a food crop or animal feed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Maybe you have never thought about where all the flowers are grown  every year just in time for Valentine's Day, the spatial extent of Christmas tree farms or how egg nog's season production changes the diary industry.  If you have considered these issues, you are thinking about the geographic impact of seasonal activities.  Many of these traditions are rooted in a particular climatic/agricultural region that started from folk cultural traditions connected to that region.  As traditions have diffused, the use of pumpkins, Douglas Fir pine trees or other seasonal items have have moved beyond their ecological origins and jumped scales to become a larger global phenomenon.  In this Geography in the News article, Neal Lineback and Many Lineback Gritzner discuss the geographic impact and context of our pumpkin traditions.  


Tags: seasonal, food production, agriculture.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:25 PM

I have been a long-time fan of pumpkin coffee, and tomorrow I will probably have some with my cousins and family... Some areas of Asia allow consumption of dogs, other areas of the US allow consumption of roadkill, and that is different from what most people in RI are used to... So I guess, it's not really my business what other people and countries do with their pumpkin crops, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people.  My neighbor has won some prizes, I think 3rd place in RI for largest pumpkin contests, which is pretty cool, because for several months, you can see their pumpkin garden from my backyard.  Those pumpkins are enormous, and made me wonder if there was anything being done to make the modified pumpkins more usable in food.  I know GMOs are a touchy issue, but to feed the starving people around the world, you have to wonder if one pumpkin at 2000 lbs could feed a village of people.  Lots of people that don't like GMOs probably do unhealthy things in other ways, so their huge activism movements really boggle me.  Labeling GMOs is one thing, but stopping genetic modifications seems as controversial as starting them, especially when some people can benefit from them.  Whatever, I guess pumpkins are cool for whatever people want to do with them, including smashing them... this week on RIC's campus I saw a smashed pumpkin.  The only thing that really popped into my head was not "what a waste," or "oh, those delinquents," but rather "that seems fun."  I did assume though, that no one was hurt by the smashing of the pumpkin...

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 5:14 PM

Although you wouldn't think it there are many different countries and specific regions that demonstrate the perfect cropping land and fertilization process to grow pumpkins. Out of the US power house pumpkin growing Illinois is named number 1. Along side California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvainnia, Mississippi. But lets travel abroad to Africa, now me personally I wouldnt think that there are alot of pumpkin patches in Africa but there are many different places in Africa that pumpkins are grown. SOme of these places are Egypt with (690,000) and then there is South Africa with (378,776). I found these numbers quite interesting because one wouldn't think that there are pumpkin patches in Africa.

Pamela Shields's curator insight, August 29, 10:10 AM

@Danyl †  so inspirational!

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon