Monster-ous success for veg growers
Hallowe’en is traditionally a time for frights and scares and these pumpkins grown by one Lincolnshire farm will certainly cause a few bumps in the night.
The creepy looking crop bearing Frankenstein’s monster’s face has been produced by Lincolnshire Field Products, of Spalding, for supermarket chain Morrisons.
It is the first time the farm, which grows around one million pumpkins across 286 acres for the UK retail market, has experimented with novelty-shaped vegetables, but it is delighted with the results.
The pumpkins are incredibly detailed, bearing all the trademarks of Mary Shelley’s infamous monster creation, including the high forehead, jagged hairline, sunken cheeks and ghoulish expression.
͞They’re looking really good – this is the first time we’ve done anything like this at all,͟ said farm account manager Ben Harris. ͞
“Morrison’s came to us and asked us if we could do it. We bought some moulds and have produced about 250 pumpkins. Morrisons are really excited about them.”͟
The limited edition pumpkins – nicknamed Pumpkin-steins in America where they are hugely popular at Hallowe’en – will be sold in Morrisons stores nationwide in the run-up to October 31.
The unusual shape is nurtured by carefully placing a mould around the pumpkin during the early stages of growth.
“The moulds have to be bolted into place by hand; it’s very labour-intensive and can take around 15 minutes to get each one right.
“You have to make sure the plant, which is its life source, isn’t damaged,” Ben added. ͞
“It then takes about five weeks for them to grow and fill the mould and then they keep the shape of the monster’s head. ͞
“There certainly seems to be more demand for novelty varieties now. The last four to five years especially, after Christmas and Easter, Hallowe’en has become the third most important event to retailers and fresh pumpkins are all part of the theatre of the displays.”
In addition to the Franken-faces, Lincolnshire Field Products is also growing a number of white and giant pumpkins for Hallowe’en celebrations.