Asda has worked with its British growers to harvest over 1.6 million pumpkins for Halloween, with the adoption of ‘lo-fi’ growing methods employed to ensure the best-quality pumpkins available for the spooky season.
Planted back in May, Asda’s Cambridgeshire-based growers have helped protect the crop by peppering the field with tried-and-tested scarecrows to ward-off wayward birds. Stationed between pumpkins, the scarecrows have helped Asda and its expert growers cultivate almost two million pumpkins, with the flailing-armed farm dwellers keeping the birds at bay throughout the five-month growing period.
The scarecrow installation, which happens shortly after the pumpkin fields are propagated, which removes the risk of birds digging for seeds if fields are drilled instead, is accompanied by daily field walks by the growers, further utilising their expertise to pinpoint issues in growth and determine first-hand when the best time to harvest might be.
Kevin Curson, Asda pumpkin grower, comments: “To grow the best-quality pumpkins possible – especially when battling unpredictable weather – requires a human touch and often, very simple methods to ensure we’re able to protect crops from seed to store.
“Halloween is the most important time of year for pumpkins, so to ensure each of the 1.6 million fruit we’ve grown this year is of the best quality possible, we take the time to walk the fields, dress our scarecrows and properly tend to the land to avoid damaging the plants.”
Growing to an average weight of 4kg, Asda’s pumpkins form part of the growing trend for Jack-O-Lanterns, with over 10 million pumpkins now grown across the UK each year.
Pete Lawrie, Asda pumpkin buyer, comments: “In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the demand for pumpkins as more households adopt Halloween as an annual tradition.
With more people wanting pumpkins now more than ever, we’ve worked closely with our British growers to produce pumpkins perfect for decorating homes with, using their expertise to ensure almost two million perfect pumpkins are ripe and ready for carving this Halloween.”
Available in store now, Asda’s pumpkins come in two sizes; Medium (75P) and Large (£1.50).
Kevin Curson’s top pumpkin tips: To look after pumpkins at home prior to carving, Brits should keep them stored in a dry and cool environment. Let them get plenty of air around them.