Worthing farmers plant 75,000 pumpkins for Halloween mega patch

A Sompting farm is full of tasty treats and carving potential after around 75,000 pumpkins sprouted in time for Halloween.

Events company Med Kitchen Events has teamed up with Broomhurst Farm in Halewick Lane to form the pumpkin-themed family day out – Pumpkin Picking Patch.

DM18101186a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Caroline Subtil and Niall Smith. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165811008

DM18101186a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Caroline Subtil and Niall Smith. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165811008

This weekend, and again from October 19-28, visitors can take one of 250 wheelbarrows and weave their way across the 15-acre site in search of the perfect pumpkin.

Organiser Niall Smith said the plan was to create a low-cost family event.

“For a lot of people, Halloween is the second-biggest event after Christmas,” he said.

“We wanted to make it family friendly but not go down the usual scary route.”

DM18101205a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165833008

DM18101205a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165833008

More than 50 types of pumpkin and gourd were planted in May and a few weeks ago they reached prime picking size.

Mr Smith said this year’s dry weather had stunted some of the growth, but the sizes of those on offer still range significantly.

Organisers have teamed up with Worthing charity Tide of Light to create an illuminated, giant pumpkin in preparation for a world record attempt next year.

It will be made of willow, piping paper and community artwork which children will be invited to decorate.

DM18101217a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165844008

DM18101217a.jpg. PYO pumpkins in Sompting. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180910-165844008

Alongside the pumpkin picking, a giant marquee will host crafting sessions such as broomstick decoration, wand making and witches’ hat adorning.

Hot and cold food and drink is also available on-site, and the organisers have even provided pumpkin-based recipes should the pickers fancy a tasty treat as well as carving their hauls.

To promote the event, Pumpkin Picking Patch has employed the help of a magical family – Miss Crow, Master Scare and Auntie.

The story goes that Miss Crow and Master Scare wanted to go on an adventure with their friends Owl, Toad and Cat. Unfortunately, Owl could not bear to go on an adventure without pumpkin pie, so the young witch and wizard poured a potion over the field and, as if by magic, hundreds of pumpkins appeared.

In the real world, pumpkin prices at Broomhurst Farm start at £3 and increase depending on their size.

For more information on the event, visit www.pumpkinpickingpatch.com

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