Pumpkin patch - When did this daft thing catch on in the UK?

photo of a pumpkin patch

Mum-of-three Lisa Clarke doesn't see the point of pumpkin patches and refuses to get sucked into this social media fad... again.

"As if working out how to carve a pumpkin isn’t enough pressure to put parents under at this time of year, now we’ve got to book our pumpkin patch slot weeks in advance

Pumpkin patches are so popular! When in reality you’re paying through the nose for a gourd that very likely wasn’t grown anywhere near the ‘patch’ of neglected dusty ground upon which you’ll stand for the privilege of being able to post about it on Insta. 

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I know there are some lovely authentic pumpkin picking patches where you can literally pick a locally grown pumpkin fresh from the vine on which it grew. Wonderful. But most of the pumpkin patch posts I’m seeing on social media are a long way from that. Don't get me wrong, I can see the attraction. I went along with it myself last year. Who doesn’t love a new parenting fad? 

I queued for tickets to a pumpkin patch but it was so extraordinarily popular they were all out of pumpkins when we arrived. Picture us; tired parents clutching our coffee while trying to console weeping, pumpkinless tots. Happily, the organisers called in some favours so we didn’t leave empty-handed. We even came home with some lovely social media posts.

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Still, I can't shake the feeling that filling fields with pumpkins that grew who-knows-how-many miles away isn’t really doing our kids any favours. This is the generation for whom climate change is a real threat. I hate to be the Scrooge of Halloween but shouldn’t we be talking to our kids about food production or even growing our own?

I’m not falling for it this year. Forget pumpkin patches and elaborate carving parties. I nabbed the biggest pumpkin I could find from the first display I saw at the Coop for a cool £2. And I’m not even going to try carving it; everyone knows that ends with nothing but a mess, disappointed tots and a tray full of roasted pumpkin seeds that no one actually eats.

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We’re cracking out the craft box and painting our pumpkin instead of carving it. And when the kids have lost interest I won’t have spent £18 on a shrivelled pumpkin rotting on my windowsill. I’ll have spent £2 on the key ingredient for my favourite Halloween tradition; a pumpkin pie martini."

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Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.