THE pumpkin harvest is going ahead ten days behind normal, set back by the cold, wet summer.
At David Bowman Pumpkins in Low Fulney, Europe’s largest growers, they’ve been working flat out up to 7.30pm to get the pumpkins in before predicted frosts hit at the end of the week.
The pumpkin fruit are generally smaller and yellower than in previous years, but David Bowman is confident the situation can be retrieved.
He said: “We’ve got the numbers and that’s what we sell by, not the weight.
“They are reasonably coloured in some fields where they’re sheltered from the cold wind that blows across, but most are yellow. They’ll all go into store to ripen into the bright orange colour we need for the packhouse.
“Pumpkins don’t like the wet and cold and that’s what we’ve had all summer, so the harvest which normally starts on September 1 didn’t get going until the 10.”
Numbers of workers employed on the farm will rise from 40 this week up to 120 when packing for the supermarkets starts at the Rangell Gate packhouse in the second week of October.