A year’s labour is coming to fruition for Europe’s largest pumpkin grower David Bowman.
David, who runs David Bowman Pumpkins Ltd at Wrangle Gate in Low Fulney, is half-way through this year’s harvest, and his verdict is: “It’s not ever such a good year.”
Nevertheless, between three and four million pumpkins will be leaving the farm once they’ve finished the ripening process.
The pumpkins are harvested when they are still quite green, the fruit lifted on to a belt which puts them through a washer on wheels.
The pumpkins then go into temperature-controlled storage until David wants to start moving them off the farm, from the first week in October right up to the end of the month.
David has used his usual American variety which has produced big fruit this year, although David says that doesn’t make too much difference to him.
The fruit goes to UK supermarkets, suppliers in Europe – and, of course, Spalding Pumpkin Parade.
David said: “I have seen much better, but the heavy rain earlier on in the year didn’t do us any favours and they went in quite wet. They don’t like sitting with their feet in the wet.
“And then we had that very wet and cold period in August, which didn’t do a lot of good, but we fight these battles.
“It’s a reasonable crop, but not over the top as it were.”
Next year’s crop is already on this farmer’s mind though, and David said he will be buying in seed any time from now.
He said: “You have got to find out where your next crop is coming from. We keep the seed until the spring and then it’s drilled.”