Having planted 20 acres with over 150,000 pumpkin seeds, Penkridge’s Lower Drayton Farm was always planning to go big with its annual PYO Pumpkins event this year. But a combination of a wet summer and an unseasonably warm autumn has seen the veggies grow to epic proportions, as farmer Richard Bower explains:
“This year has been a real challenge for farmers in many ways – not least dodging the rain to bring in the harvest. Last year we had a bumper pumpkin crop but no particularly huge pumpkins – this year the yield is average, but they’ve just kept growing – and growing! We’ve got some whoppers on the patch and they are still growing – so our visitors can rest assured that there will be plenty of choice in the run-up to Halloween.”
In addition to getting a pumpkin each as part of their PYO Pumpkins ticket, visitors can pick their own carrots, sweetcorn and potatoes to take home and cook, enjoy the option of a tractor-trailer ride to the patch to pick their pumpkin and then carve it in the new indoor carving barn in the Pumpkin Village (so there’s no mess at home).
Pumpkin fun and games, outdoor play and friendly animals to meet add to the fun, while there’s a spooky walk for those brave enough to take on the challenge. A pop-up pumpkin café serves a range of tasty snacks and drinks – including home-made pumpkin soup.
PYO Pumpkins will run daily at Lower Drayton Farm, just off the A449 outside Penkridge, from Sat 14 – Tue 31 October. Tickets are £12pp – to book head to lowerdraytonfarm.co.uk/pumpkins