Hurrah, it's Autumn! That stunning time of year when the skies are blue, the air is crisp and the trees are turning that beautiful golden orange before-they all-drop-off colour. Christmas is coming, Bake Off is on the telly and before we all hunker down for the long nights ahead, we have a month or two of wonderful outdoorsy stuff to get out of our system. And most importantly, it is Pumpkin Season. Woo Hoo! Who doesn't love those creepily carved orange globes popping up in every window ledge from now until Halloween.
This year though, how about this: instead of grabbing a dodgy looking squash from the local supermarket, why not.....pick your own?! There are hundreds (literally) of places to pick your own Pumpkins all over the UK and it is great fun. Head off at half term for a rural outing with the kids; there are farms and nurseries everywhere with rows of delicious pumpkins just waiting to be chosen and taken back to their forever home (hmmm, ok, until they are made into a pie or have a spooky face carved into them). So find a farm near you and book in.
Once you've booked and are revved up to go, I've got some tips on how to select your perfect pumpkin:
1. check your pumpkin has a good strong green stem.
2. while we are on about stems, NEVER carry your pumpkin by the stem. If you drop it, the whole thing will break and worse still, so might toes.
3. make sure it doesn't have any cuts in it or soft patches.
4. get a really lovely orangey one - all over....any green or brown bits might mean it is over or under ripe #carvingnightmare
5. looks aren't everything. Yes, make sure it is orange but don't go for a perfect globe. A slightly misshapen one adds way more character to your masterpiece and it won't taste any different.
You now have your Squash Diploma Level 1. Whether you are using your Pumpkin to make delicious wedges and cakes, or you just want to carve out a grotesque toothy face, picking your own is way more fun than buying one. Check out the Pumpkin Picking farms near you today!
Everyone can take part no experience required
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