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Oct 20, 2015

Did you know that there are over 30 different varieties of pumpkins? They are grown on every continent apart from Antarctica, and they are used for cooking, for livestock(1), and for decoration. They have been around for a very long time. The oldest recorded evidence of pumpkins dates back 7000 years to Mexico. Although it grows like a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. And what a pretty fruit it is! A friend of ours has recently opened a special pumpkin patch(2), that is a few acres in size. It is called Annie's Fun Farm, and is open to the public for family entertainment. Paths lined with pumpkins have been made, as well as an area to throw apples with giant elastic ropes. There's an inflatable castle, a corn maze(3), and rides on a tractor and trailer. It is a perfect place to take family or friends to have some fun, and to choose that special collection of pumpkins, if that's what you like to do. I filled up a little shopping cart with pumpkins of different shapes, sizes, and colors, to put next to my front door. I also walked through the corn maze. Believe it or not, I got a little scared by the rustle of leaves behind me! What a big baby! But that is actually what the public likes: a little fun, a little scare, and a car load of pumpkins to take home.

1. 'Livestock' means animals that are raised for profit. They are usually farm animals, but can also be horses and similar animals that can be sold as workers instead of for their meat.

a. The farmer has a lot of corn and also livestock.

b. In New Zealand, sheep and deer are bred as livestock.

2. 'Patch' in this podcast means an area of land where the pumpkins grow exclusively. Patch is also used to mean a square piece of material that covers a hole in clothes, or the cover for a blind eye. It can also be used figuratively meaning 'to cover' or 'to repair'.

a. The pirate wore a patch over one eye.

b. Last year we had a huge cabbage patch in our vegetable garden.

c. My grandmother sewed a patch onto my jeans.

d. After arguing for years, we have finally patched up our relationships.

3. 'Maze' is a noun that means a labyrinth or a complicated area.

a. It is common in the Autumn to find places of entertainment with mazes made of corn.

b. Some traditional English gardens have mazes made of very tall hedges.

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