October 22, 2018 / 9:08 PM / 25 days ago

After searing summer, UK pumpkin farm ready for Halloween

MAIDSTONE, England (Reuters) - A pick-your-own pumpkin patch boasting over 70 varieties in Kent, southeast England, is getting British families into the Halloween spirit.

Pumpkin farmer Charlie Eckley planted his seeds in May ready for an October harvest and this year’s hot, dry summer only had a small impact on the size of this year’s crop.

“The pumpkins have done really well but they are slightly smaller than normal,” he said. “I grow four varieties of sweetcorn as well and they all failed totally this year.”

His 22-acre Pumpkin Moon site in Maidstone is now receiving families visiting to pick pumpkins and squash.

“I love Halloween, I love encouraging people out into the farm, into the countryside, to get out of the house. So it’s not just my love of the actual pumpkins themselves. It’s to get families out enjoying the countryside, getting fresh air, in a field,” Eckley said.  

A local visitor, Amy Thorne, came to the farm with her daughter Eva dressed as a skeleton.

“It’s just nice to come down as a family, and they’re really beautiful as well, the pumpkins, so yeah, nice to decorate the house, get in the spirit,” Thorne said.

Reporting by Helena Williams; Editing by William Schomberg and Alison Williams

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