Take Your Pick: 7 tips for picking the perfect pumpkin from the patch
We love Halloween in our house and the kids have picked out their costumes for the big day already.
Part of the build-up to Halloween is selecting your pumpkins and this year we decided to head to our local pick-your-own farm, Sopley Farm, so the kids could experience first-hand where pumpkins come from, instead of buying them in the supermarket.
We arrived at the farm on a glorious Autumnal day, picked up a wheelbarrow and headed into the farm to find our perfect pumpkin.
As soon as the kids spotted the field of orange in front of them, they were off and running – eager to see what was in store.
It is a real treat finding your very own pumpkin as nature intended. There were literally hundreds, in various stages of growth, from teeny tiny green ones still attached to their vines to humongous orange beasts that you could barely lift off the ground.
We all had our own idea of the perfect pumpkin with Eliza demanding a large, fat, round one whilst Isaac wanted a more oblong shape. Sebby tried lifting a large one but as he wanted to carry his own, he opted for a small one in the end.
Of course, the real bonus of finding our pumpkins in a field was that you get to see how they are grown and all the beauty of nature that you don't see in the supermarket, plus they are half the price too.
How do you pick the perfect Pumpkin?
- Pick a pumpkin that is firm and heavy for its size
- Check it has consistent colouring all over
- Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs. If it flexes or gives, the pumpkin is not fresh
- Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem – a green stem indicates it has been freshly harvested
- Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to ensure it will sit flat after being carved
- Look for soft spots, mould, wrinkles and cuts as these indicate early spoilage
- Round or oval pumpkins carve more easily
We had a brilliant morning exploring the farm and as well as pumpkins, the kids got see how other vegetables were grown too along with the chance to clamber on top of some giant haystacks.
Whether you want to visit the farm shop, pick fresh vegetables, pick your own pumpkins or simply want to have a lovely stroll through fields on an Autumnal day, I would definitely recommend visiting a pick your own farm – we will certainly be back in the summer for their strawberries!
Looking for a pumpkin patch near you? Don't miss our guide to 10 of the best pumpkin patches in the UK!