Friday, October 24, 2014

English eccentricity and pumpkins galore


Whenever I read American blogs at this time of year, I am always slightly envious of their beautiful photos of pumpkin farm visits. Rightly or wrongly this season is not something we embrace with such fervour in the UK. However I made a little discovery this week which satisfied my hunger for some Autumnal celebration.

I have been vaguely aware that the village of Slindon had something to do with pumpkins every year,  but I wasn't quite sure what it was. I had variously heard it called a 'fair' a 'festival' and simply a 'display.' Then earlier this week photos started appearing on my IG feed of pumpkins in Slindon and so I decided to investigate.


To be entirely accurate, the pumpkins in Slindon are a one man venture. A local farmer who sets up a display in the drive of his house. This week is half-term for some schools, but the place wasn't beseiged by families. There were about half a dozen cars parked in the road and a couple of families looking at the display. Partly this is because it is quite a quick visit. 15 minutes would be pushing it if I'm entirely honest, but that's not to say it's not worth the trip. The feature display of the spitfire made from pumpkins is unlike anything I have seen before and there are an amazing selection of pumpkins on sale in every size, shape and colour. Theo was fascinated by it.


Fellow local blogger Caroline takes her kids there every year to pick their pumpkin for Halloween which I think is a lovely idea and I rather enjoyed the fact that Slindon Pumpkins is typical of that crazy eccentric English thing that we do so well. One elderly gentleman rigging up a huge art display (on scaffolding!) in his front garden, whilst his neighbours probably curse him for turning a normally quiet village into a tourist attraction for two weeks a year.

In the end we came away with four different small pumpkins (one of which looks like a starfish from Octonauts.) It wasn't particularly cheap (I loathe to say it, but the supermarkets undercut him for large pumpkins) but it was great fun. I'm not sure quite what I'll do with our haul, they do look rather lovely just in a collection on the kitchen table together.

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  1. Wow this looks amazing! I thought places like this only existed in America!

  2. Fabulous. There was an amazing Pumpkin display and children's game at Charlcote NT House last October. They are probably doing something similar this year, I haven't checked. There were so many varieties of pumpkin on view (&. For sale) it was unbelievable. I found an excellent Hugh -River Cottage - recipe in the Sunday paper a few weeks ago which uses squash ( I'm sure you could substitute pumpkin), blackberries and chicory. Really tasty.

  3. That squash picture of the aeroplanes is really fabulous.

  4. That looks incredible - that's some serious artistic talent to work out the picture and then lay it all out, not to mention the pumpkin growing itself! I tried to find a pumpkin farm to take the kids to this year but despite a very snazzy website it appears to be no more - alas!

  5. Its such a great place isn't it! We bought one of the starfish shapes too - its so hard to choose just one. The pottery next door looks sweet too - though I've not been brave enough to go inside with the kids yet. x


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