September marks the start of the UK pumpkin season, but leading grower Barfoots has warned that this year’s harvest will be more difficult than normal due to the challenging weather conditions this year.
“Pumpkins in the UK are generally dry farmed, that is to say they don’t require irrigation,” explains Barfoots’ brand and marketing manager Kim Barfoot-Brace. “That definitely isn’t true this year. We’re expecting small pumpkins and squashes despite irrigating our crops significantly. On the plus side, we hope this means fruits will be high quality and we won’t have any rot issues.”
As a result, the company has warned customers that sizes will be small, and the harvest is expected to come early this season. In total Barfoots grow 51 ha of pumpkins, between their own production and partner growers, but Kim says that while the Halloween market for pumpkins is key, other varieties of squash provide a tastier experience the rest of the year.
“We also grow and supply a number of varieties of squash,” she continues. “Abundant in colour, taste and texture. There are so many different squash types which are both eye catching and delicious. We see a demand for this variety of squash types – with people learning how to prepare different squashes to get the best eating experience from them. Squash really is a super veg…it’s nutrient rich, in its whole form doesn’t require packaging, stores for a long time helping to reduce waste and is incredible versatile. We really believe in it.”