A pumpkin patch in British Columbia
© James Chen/Shutterstoc
A most sincere pumpkin patch
Ah, the perennial pumpkin patch. You might think the round orange gourds in today's photo are vegetables, but botanists say pumpkins are actually the fruit of pumpkin vines. They're considered fruit because pumpkins contain seeds and grow from the same part of the plant that produces flowers. And now, as Halloween nears, pumpkins are ripe for picking and carving into spooky jack-o'-lanterns.
The jack-o'-lantern tradition dates to mid-1800s Ireland when people carved faces into potatoes or turnips to ward off evil spirits. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to North America, only to discover that native pumpkins were much easier to carve. Fast-forward ahead and we're just grateful that pumpkins are the seasonal 'fruit' of choice since turnips would make a questionable spiced-latte drink.