My kids have been nagging me to go pumpkin picking for ages.
The last few years we have been away for Halloween so we never managed it, however, we are at home for October half term, so there was no excuse.
Sopley Farm, set on the edge of the New Forest, is our closest Pick Your Own farm that has a pumpkin patch and we headed across to visit last weekend.
Sopley Farm grow nearly 20 different fruit and vegetables. Some are grown for Pick Your Own, and some for selling ready picked through their farm shop so if you don’t fancy traipsing through a muddy field then you can swing past and grab any size pumpkin you like.
First of all we introduced ourselves at the shop and were pointed in the direction of two pumpkin fields and picked up a wheel barrow to help us carry our treasure.
The kids raced off in search of pumpkins and we were soon facing a field of orange.
There were small ones, tall ones, fat ones, thin ones, orange ones, green ones…….
The only problem we had was choosing the perfect pumpkin.
Eliza had to have the biggest whereas Isaac was on the hunt for the roundest one he could find.
Sebby did try and find a large one but after several attempts at lifting it, gave up and chose a smaller one instead.
Our perfect pumpkins selected, it was time to head back to the shop.
Upon arriving back at the shop we spotted the second pumpkin field behind it, so headed there just to check we had made the correct choice.
This field was full of much smaller pumpkins so I set the kids a challenge – to find the smallest pumpkin they could find!
They did such a good job that we ended up with a large pumpkin to carve and a small pumpkin to paint.
How to 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
Pumpkins finally selected it was time to head to the shop and pay.
The price of pumpkins was on a par with the price in the supermarket, but it was much more fun roaming around a field getting some colour in our cheeks, rather than digging around a in a large bin in a supermarket.
Have you been pumpkin picking before?
Leave your recommendations below!