Army of ‘grow it yourselfers’ reap million Halloween pumpkins

The National Trust will mark the start of the winter growing season with a special series of events during October to celebrate the success of a new generation of home-grown vegetable gardeners. Pumpkin carving classes and spooky trails will celebrate Halloween, whilst winter vegetable growing workshops and cookery demonstrations will inspire people to continue growing their own during the colder months.

Fiona Reynolds, Director General of the National Trust says:

‘Our Food Glorious Food campaign has inspired a new generation of people to grow their own food in gardens, window boxes – even wellies and teapots.

Pumpkins are easy and satisfying to grow – we hope that the experience of nurturing and then cooking and eating the fruits of their labour means that families won’t hang up their gardening gloves this winter but will continue to enjoy the thrill of growing.’

The McLaughlin family started growing their own vegetables this summer with seeds from the National Trust and will be celebrating their pumpkin harvest this Halloween with jack-o-lantern carving, pie making and seed toasting.

Nuala McLaughlin, mother of three says:

‘We’re going to make our own jack-o-lanterns this year to celebrate the fun that we’ve had growing all summer. Our five great big pumpkins will taste better than shop-bought ones and we’ll be making the most of them.

I love the idea of carving a Halloween pumpkin and then using the flesh to make pumpkin muffins topped with toasted seeds. The children have become really enthusiastic with the garden and curious about vegetables, so come winter they’ll still be raring to get outside and check on their home-grown veg.’

For more information and to find your nearest Food Glorious Food event, visit www.foodgloriousfood.org.uk

During the summer, the National Trust gave away 170 million free seeds – which is equal to up to one million pumpkins, 26 million bags of rocket leaves and 70 million lettuces. Food Glorious Food is part of the National Trust’s overall commitment to sustainable food production on all land, and the use of quality, local, seasonal and sustainable food in its kitchens and 150 restaurants.

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