Smashing pumpkins are coming to Ottawa.

No, not the band.

Actual smashing pumpkins. Little orange gourds catapulted high into the air by, well, an actual catapult.

The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is holding its 3rd annual Smashing Pumpkins event Sunday, Oct. 5th, from 10am to 4pm.

For an extra $1 you can select your very own pumpkin-missle, decorate it, and fire it at a distant target using an over 15-foot tall catapult called a trebuchet.

Trebuchets differ from other catapults in that they use a heavy counter-weight to lift the throwing arm, rather than using tension.

Museum staff built the trebuchet to offer a fun fall activity for visitors and to solve an annual dilemma. Every spring visitors are encouraged to plant pumpkin seeds. “Now we’ve found a way to use these pumpkins,” says Cultural Centre Programmer Amy Kudrinko. “And it’s great. The kids love it.”

Fun, and farm-friendly. The smashed pumpkins are all collected and put to good use. “We actually feed them to our farm animals that we have here on site,” says Kudrinko.

Interestingly, very few pumpkins actually hit the target. The weight of each pumpkin and the amount of weight on the trebuchet can cause a fair bit of variation to each 'flight.'

Presumably, that's why pumpkins weren't typically used when laying seige to castles in the Middle Ages.

O.M.G!  (Oh my gourd!)