Don’t you just love autumn? The crunchy leaves, the beautiful colours, an excuse to drink hot chocolate whilst wearing your favourite jumper and scarf? One of the reasons I love autumn so much is because I love Halloween and what better way is there to get the whole family into the spooky spirit than to go pumpkin picking. After reading about Pickwell Farm over on the fabulous Dear Mummy blog and knowing how much Leo loves going to pick your own fields, on Saturday I knew exactly how we would be spending our morning and we all had a great time searching for the perfect pumpkin.
Pumpkin picking at Pickwell Farm.
Where is Pickwell Farm?
Pickwell Farm can be found on Grange Road in Netley, a stone’s throw away from Southampton and easily found from the m27. Oli did manage to drive past the entrance, despite the massive sign and picture of a pumpkin, but it is actually really easy to spot and just straight off the main road.
What is there?
Obviously there are all the pick your own fruit and veg fields that have a range of different produce available for picking during the year but there is also a cute little farm shop too. As well as stocking yummy fruit and veg from the farm, Pickwell Farm shop also sells Yankee Candles, adorable little gifts and, of course, lots of tasty food. If you are creative and enjoy making things there are several craft courses and day classes run from the Pickwell Farm shop too.
When we first arrived we headed over to the farm shop to find out where we had to go to get our hands on some pumpkins. We were pointed in the direction of some big blue wheelbarrows and I just knew that Leo was going to love this! After Leo had climbed into the wheelbarrow (what 3 year old wouldn’t?!) , Oli had the fun job of pushing him to the pumpkin patch. On our walk there we spotted there was some rhubarb so Oli grabbed a load, he cooked it up later into an amazing rhubarb crumble – it really was amazing.
After getting distracted by the rhubarb we then walked through the field to reach the reason we were there, our eyes firmly set on the bright orange prize. I was pleased that the pumpkin patch wasn’t too muddy and that there were still loads of pumpkins to choose from. Oli and Leo had a good old browse around the patch before making their selections. Leo was determined to get a little ‘baby pumpkin’ and Oli wanted a massive one. I had my camera on me so I took a few snaps before going in search of my perfect pumpkin.
According to all the baby development updates online, by 40 weeks pregnant your baby bump is supposed to be the size of a pumpkin. I made it my mission to try and find a pumpkin that perfectly matched the size of my bump, it was pretty much an impossible task with so many to choose from but I think I got pretty close. What do you think?
Pumpkin picking tip.
The grey viney bit the pumpkins are attached can be quite prickly and sharp to touch. Oli used a pen knife we borrowed for cutting the rhubarb to cut the pumpkin loose and then we encouraged Leo to hold the pumpkin on either side like a ball. I’m not sure if it would actually cut you but would be quite painful on little fingers.
The corn field.
After we loaded the wheelbarrow up with our pumpkins we headed on up the field to the area dedicated to growing sweet corn. Leo wandered straight into the corn, the branches and leaves almost swallowing him up, we could have easily lost him in there if we weren’t careful. Leo and Oli grabbed 2 big ears of corn and then it was Leo’s turn to have a go at pushing the wheelbarrow back to the farm shop.
I was so shocked by how cheap our veggie haul was. Pumpkins cost 2 pound whatever size they are, the ears of corn were 30p each and the rhubarb came to just over a pound and we really got loads of the stuff. We spent less than a tenner and we all had a great morning and had some fresh, yummy food to show for our trip out too.
As I said before, Oli used the rhubarb to make a crumble completely from scratch and it tasted so good. The rhubarb had that lovely, slightly bitter taste to it and teamed with the sugary crumble topping and some double cream it made a dessert all of us enjoyed. The corn on the cobs tasted great too, picking and eating veg on the same day really does give the food so much more flavour. I had my corn smothered in butter after cooking it in foil for 30 minutes in the oven, it was so succulent and sweet. The pumpkins have been carved up and each given their very own spooky face ready for Halloween. Oli and I made a pumpkin pie late last night, we haven’t tried it yet but it smells divine, the cinnamon and nutmeg scents have made our home feel very autumnal indeed.
Is Pickwell Farm worth visiting?
We have been to quite a few pick your own fields and I would definitely say Pickwell Farm is one of the better ones we’ve visited. There is no entry fee and you only pay for whatever you buy, you could easily spend an hour there just wandering around admiring the pretty colours and only spend a couple of quid on one pumpkin if you wanted. I would say a trip to Pickwell Farm is definitely worth it and I can’t wait to take Leo back there next summer for our annual strawberry picking adventure. There are still plenty of pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, you still have time to get yours before Halloween.
Do you like going to pick your own fruit and veg farms? Have you been having fun exploring a pumpkin patch this October too? Have you got a favourite pumpkin recipe? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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