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Are pumpkins are not available as a PYO crop.
Pumpkins are a member of the Squash family that were first cultivated in the America's before being bought to England by returning explorers.
We grow a wide varieties of Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes from tiny munchkins to massive 'Atlantic Giants' we also grow a variety of different sizes of white 'Ghost' pumpkins.
All of our pumpkins are outdoor grown without the use of polytunnels and exposed to the warm summer sunshine. This means that as well as being fun to carve, our pumpkins also have a great colour and fantastic flavour unlike the less expensive, intensively grown pumpkins commonly found on supermarket shelves.
All of our Pumpkins are top grade and harvested by hand. Harvesting pumpkins by hand is a back breaking labour of love, but it's worth it! The end result is a significantly higher quality grade of pumpkin that has not been damaged or scarred by machine harvesting. You really can tell the difference!
Choosing your own Pumpkin
Every October our Pumpkin Patch opens in Crockford's Corner where you can choose from thousands of pumpkins laid out on tables and bales.
We do not open our pumpkin growing fields for picking as the vast majority of our crop has already been harvested by October due to to the high risk of ground frost which will damage pumpkins left out in the fields (nobody likes a soggy bottom!)
Because of this risk, we begin to harvest our Pumpkins in early Autumn and store them safely in our dry airy barn so they can begin to harden and reach you in perfect condition. This also saves you the uncomfortable experience of tripping over vines whilst carrying heavy pumpkins from the fields to our PYO kiosk!
Caring for your pumpkin
After buying your pumpkin, it is best stored out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry environment until you are ready to carve or eat it. Pumpkins can last for months if stored correctly. Traditionally gourds and squashes were safely stored this way to provide a source of food throughout the Winter months.
Once your pumpkin is cut open it will begin to oxidise and spoil quite quickly. We recommend you leave carving your pumpkin as late as possible. Should you need to carve your pumpkin in advance, storing it in a fridge will help to slow down the spoilage.
- The tradition of carving faces into pumpkins was thought to have originated in Ireland where faces were traditionally carved into turnips as part of the Gaelic festival of Samhain.
- Pumpkins can grow to massive sizes and in some parts of the world Pumpkin growing is a competitive sport. In 2016 a world record was set in Belgium with a pumpkin weighing 1190kg crowned as the worlds heaviest Pumpkin. The winners of these competitions can sell their pumpkin's seeds for thousands of pounds to growers and enthusiasts.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
1 750g pumpkin, peeled,
de-seeded and cut into chunks.
350g sweet shortcrust pastry. plain flour, for dusting.
140g caster sugar.
½ tsp salt.
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated.
1 tsp cinnamon.
2 eggs, beaten. 25g butter,
melted. 175ml milk.
1 tbsp icing sugar.
- Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin and let it cool.
- Heat oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans and blind bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly
- Increase oven to 220C. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
- Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled