Next month Farrington’s opens its gate for their annual pumpkin festival! The event has grown year on year since starting in 2016 and the Spookley Pumpkin Festival and the Great Pumpkin Smash this year is expected to be the best yet for visitors to the farm shop, café and shopping village in Farrington Gurney.
This year the pumpkin field will be open 10am-4pm daily on the two weekends before half-term (13th-14th & 20th-21st October) and during the half-term week from Saturday 27th October until Friday 2nd November. The last two days of the festival will also see the introduction The Great Pumpkin Smash!
In preparation for this year’s event, Andy Jeffery, owner and farmer at Farrington’s has planted 50,000 pumpkin seeds across almost 7 acres for the public to wander amongst and pick. He said:
“Last year we were blown away by the popularity of this event and so this year we’ve preparing for more people again. The 50,000 seeds we’ve sown should yield somewhere in the region of 30,000 pumpkins and there will be twelve different varieties to choose from.”
From ghoulish green and ghostly white, to gnarly skins and the traditional orange pumpkin, there will be all-sorts for the public to choose from when gates open to the public on the 13th October. On top of the joy of searching for the perfect pumpkin, many also enjoy visiting the pumpkin patch so that youngsters can see how pumpkins, like other vegetables, grow.
“One of the best things about getting people out into the fields is the sense of wonder that many children experience at seeing the vastness of the pumpkin field and discovering for themselves that pumpkins don’t just magically arrive in the shop!” said Andy.
He added: “The warm weather has been particularly challenging at the farm in general this year, but the pumpkins appear to have fared well and we have been careful to give them the water that they need.”
On top of visiting the pumpkin patch, children can enjoy a range of activities for just £3, including carving kit, a tractor-trailer ride (weather dependent) and to also hear the story of Spookley the Square Pumpkin at story time and movie time. The tale of Spookley, after which the festival is named, is at the core of the event and offers an anti-bullying message to children.
After Halloween night, on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd November, it is the turn of the Pumpkin Smash! For £3, visitors get the chance to squish and splatter all the remaining pumpkins not suitable for carving, with summer fete-style games, competitions and tractor smash demos. From a farming perspective this will also help the fields to recover faster – think of it as extreme composting!