Sometimes children don’t want to do the activities suggested (food shopping anyone?). But other times something sparks their imagination and they’re ready and waiting at the door to leave. Picking a pumpkin is one of those times. I don’t really know why because we don’t go to town at Halloween at all. But Millets Farm pick your own was something we did last year, and N obviously remembered and was keen to go again this year.
I didn’t want to buy our pumpkins too early (they usually go mouldy, so this year I’m keeping them outside until carving), but also didn’t want to leave getting them until half term. Millets Farm pumpkin patch only opens for a couple of the weekends before half term, and then during the week. So my plan of going on inset day wasn’t going to work.
I’d hoped that it would be a sunny day like last year, but as we set off it was raining. Not a good start but thankfully by opening time at 10am, the drizzle had stopped, we’d found a prime parking space right by the pumpkin PYO entrance, and we were there choosing our wheelbarrow.
I think the wheelbarrows are the big draw for N. He loves pushing them and it saves my back having him take control. It took a while for him to decide on the one he wanted.
This year the pumpkins were in a nearer field so it wasn’t as much of a trek. The morning weather was grey but warm, and getting to the pumpkin field is advisable. It was already getting busy by the time we were leaving it.
Things N learnt this year pumpkin picking:
- It’s easier to push a wheelbarrow before it has pumpkins in it
- It’s easier to go up a row rather than across, and also easier to return along the edge of the field than back down the pumpkin rows again
- There’s a lot of damaged crop
- You can get green pumpkins (and blue squashes)
- Less is more (maybe he hasn’t quite grasped this, I had to stop him grabbing every small one he spotted)
- Never believe mummy when she says the playground is this way….via the garden centre
Things I learnt about N:
- He’s getting to know when I’m tricking him
- He’s not excited about Christmas in October (the garden centre had all the Christmas displays up)
- Diggers beat tractors when it comes to being next in the queue
N was a bit gutted that the Halloween maize maze wasn’t yet open. The spooky maize maze and the Halloween circus opens over half term, so if you can hold on til half term, it’s worth the wait.
People often moan about the price of pumpkins at pumpkin patches, but at Millets Farm pick your own they’re not a bad price. You pay by size, either £3, £2 or £1. We paid £7 for 3 pumpkins plus another £3 for a carving kit because I couldn’t think where ours was from last year. If you want one that’s picked already and cleaned then look for the ones in the farm shop, but it’s much more fun choosing them from the field. And this year they were chopped off closer to the stalk end, so no prickled fingers when trying to pick them up.
We had a lovely morning picking pumpkins, and enjoying the playground before getting some lunch. And all for free – except for the pumpkins and lunch!
Do you pick your own pumpkins?