Not To Be Trendy, But Illinois Is The World’s Pumpkin Capital
To be more precise, we should say that Morton, Illinois, in particular, is the Pumpkin Capital of the World.
I don't want any trouble from angry Mortonians (if that's what you call someone from Morton), because it's Morton that really should hold the title. They boast a Nestle's canning plant, and that plant supplies 82 percent of the world's canned pumpkin.
Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced in the US on over 15,214 farms, and the majority of those farms are right here in Illinois. They send their harvested product to Morton (which is surrounded by pumpkin farms), where Nestle then cans it and ships it around the planet.
Whether you're a lover of pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice lattes (also known as "PSLs" by those who love them and celebrate their arrival each year), or you can't stand the taste of anything pumpkin-infused, you can appreciate the amount of Illinoisans who make their living growing the big orange gourds.
Back to Morton for a moment. The Morton Pumpkin Festival, which takes place in September, draws over 35,000 people. Not too shabby for a town of about 17,000 people.
Here are couple of pumpkin facts that you can
bore...I mean entertain your friends and family members with (courtesy of Zippia.com):
- 80% of pumpkins are picked in October.
- 62 percent of pumpkin acres were grown in only ten States.
- Illinois is the nation’s largest producer of pumpkins.
- The average pumpkin cost is $2.60, but a big carving pumpkin will set you back more.
- 44% of Americans plan to care a Jack-O-Lantern.
- Jack-o’-lanterns were made out of turnips or potatoes, until Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered pumpkins were better for carving.
- The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was grown in Minnesota.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever made was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds.
- Antarctica is the only continent on which pumpkins don’t grow
- Pumpkin-flavored yearly sales total over $414 million- from coffee, beers, baked goods, Oreos and more.