Halloween is just around the corner! These Halloween staples all have roots in agriculture. Let’s learn more.
You may have made a scarecrow at a fall festival to decorate your yard, but scarecrows serve a real purpose for farmers! It is believed that more than 2,500 years ago, Greek farmers created the first scarecrows that look like people to protect their crops. Throughout history farmers have used scarecrows to scare away predators and pests (often birds like Crows) from their crops. While you may not find a scarecrow in many orchards today, you will find farmers using a similar strategy to scare away pests; farmers hang reflective tape in trees to scare away birds!
Check out this National Geographic video on how some farmers use Falcons to protect their crops.
When you think about Halloween, you can’t forget trick-or-treating and candy! Those sweets didn’t just come from the grocery store; they started out at a farm.
The chocolate in that chocolate bar started as a bean of the cacao tree. These beans are then roasted to bring out the chocolate flavor we know and love; these are called cocoa beans! The insides of cocoa beans are called nibs and these nibs are ground and crushed into chocolate.
Sugar is a key ingredient in candy! The sugar used in candy and other desserts comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. While sugar beets and sugarcane look different, they produce the same product- sucrose or table sugar.
Check out this video to learn more about sugar beet harvest.
Candied apples, caramel apples and bobbing for apples are essentials of fall fun and Halloween parties. We have farmers to thank for those apples too. Apples in the grocery store come from apple trees grown in special farms called orchards!
Want to learn more about apples? Check out our Apple Ag Mag or The Apple Orchard Riddle.
Many people carve pumpkins to put in front of their home for Halloween and bake pumpkin spice goodies, but did you know there a bunch of different kinds of pumpkins? Pumpkins we use for Jack-O-Lanterns are different from those we use to make pumpkin bread.
Check out our Pumpkin blog to learn more.