Did You Know?
All about gourds
The gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) contains about 975 plant species, including cucumbers, pumpkins, melons and squashes. Most grow fast, on vines, and are sensitive to temperatures near freezing.
Suikawari is a Japanese tradition in which blindfolded participants try to split a watermelon on the ground. The official rules allow for 90 seconds per striking attempt.
In the early 1800s in Haiti, gourds were temporarily the nation’s official currency. That history is present today—haiti’s standard coin is called a gourde.
Jack-o’-lanterns today are usually made from pumpkins, but the first candlelit Halloween glow-globe decorations most likely were carved out of large turnips.
As of Oct. 9, 2016, the heaviest pumpkin on record weighs 2,624.6 pounds. It was grown by Mathias Willemijns of Belgium. The world record regularly changes hands—mathias took the title from Beni Meier, who earned it in 2014 for his 2,323-pound pumpkin.
Cucumbers are more than 95 percent water, which means that they’re relatively low in sodium, calories and fat. One cup of sliced cucumbers contains about 16 calories.