Hello Pumpkin

It’s Friday the 13th of October, the air is frosty and fresh, the trees are rustling in golden and the sun is low in the sky – blinding me as a drive home after a B E A UTIFUL day at Arnprior Farm’s Pumpkin Patch.

I have always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch! There is something idealistic and charming about hand selecting your own pumpkin straight from the ground. The same nostalgic warmth you get choosing a Christmas tree. Well, now we have a fantastic Pumpkin Farm located less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow. You won’t want to settle for a supermarket pumpkin after this!

IMG_8996Arriving at Arnprior Farm, I was absolutely besotted by what I saw. Groups of tiny kiddos running around in the mud, climbing over giant pumpkins and pulling turnips from the soil. The Farm has such a heart-warming atmosphere; designed with care and in such a loving way everybody is welcomed and encouraged to roam freely. The farm is really family friendly, but Coral and I had just as much fun as the 5 year olds – and I actually think Pumpkin Picking would be a really cute date idea! There are loads of great photo ops, and quirky extras to add to the day. After exhausting ourselves running around the kale maze, digging tatties, pulling turnips and carrying pumpkins – we were fed and watered by some fab local food trucks. We had hot dogs from Skinner of Kippen (a local butchers) and hot chocolates from the Fallen Tree Coffee Truck. Exactly what we needed to thaw our frosty fingers! During ‘moments’ of downpour, the marquee became a crafty jungle of fun with creative workshops, pop up shops and alpaca trekking!

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A little bit about Arnprior

Duncan, Rebecca and their three beautiful children run their pumpkin farm alongside their keep of 1000 sheep that they lamb in the spring and 100 acres of Gluten Free Oats. Arnprior was primarily a beef, sheep and arable farm until 2015 when the McEwan family took a new direction and started to diversify into pumpkin farming – and thank goodness they did! More than 5000 pumpkins have been grown across two acres of land at the farm and they come in all varieties of lovable shapes and sizes. I think it’s the McEwan family themselves that makes their farm so inviting. Time is no issue; there is no pressure to buy and no restriction to explore. Their laid-back approach is so refreshing and totally puts visitors at ease.

Rebecca’s top tips on how to choose your perfect pumpkin:
  1. Look for one with a long interesting handle.
  2. The more bumps and irregularities, the more the personality to your pumpkin.
  3. Pumpkins come in all shapes; my favorites are the short squashed fat ones.
  4. The best colour is not always pure orange, look for the autumnal colours shining through.
  5. Remember you’ve got to carry it home.

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What to do you with your Pumpkin…

FullSizeRenderWhether you grew up chiselling away at a hardy turnip until your spoon bent in three directions (in true Scottish/Irish tradition) or whether you have adopted the American approach of pumpkin carving – lanterns for Halloween have become extravagant works of art in recent years. More so than the simplistic zigzag mouth and triangle eyes we did as children! With a little help and inspo from YouTube tutorials and Pinterest boards the elaborate designs are becoming more impressive each year! Also, carving tools! Since when? They make such a difference for intricate deconstruction – it makes me question why we were ever trusted with kitchen knifes!

In the kitchen? This list goes on, and on. I overheard some recipe conversations at Arnprior – everything from pumpkin humus to pumpkin lasagne was mentioned. Mind: blown! I’d never considered anything further than roasting the seeds or making soup. I’m going to be trying a few of these recipes this week https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/pumpkin – all failed attempts and hopefully a few success bakes will be all over my Instagram story I’m sure!

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If you’re interested in visiting this wonderful pumpkin land:

Arnprior Farm is free to enter with ample free parking on site; it will be open on the following dates:

Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 October 2017, 10am – 4pm

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October 2017, 10am – 4pm

WELLIES ARE A MUST!

Thanks for reading

Rona X @ronamcmillan

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