Where do our pumpkins come from?

pumpkins-in-hallWe have been asked where we get our pumpkins for the Pumpkin Festival from! Well, they are grown on a farm in Beeston, and kindly sourced for us at cost by Rob Titmus of Woodview Farm, so they are pretty local. The Woodview Farm Shop is in Gamlingay and it looks really great – you can see their website here. Rob came to the rescue last year when the pumpkins I was expecting for the Pumpkin Festival didn’t materialise because the organic pumpkin harvest failed due to weather conditions and our builder, Julian Salt, who lives near Rob, came to the rescue at the last minute. So this year I just went straight there to save any hassle and Jules picked up the pumpkins and delivered them to us in his builder’s van, all 140 of them. Thank you Rob, Woodview Farm and Jules! (And thanks, Sainsbury’s, for the 24 banana boxes to transport them! Here are a few of them in our hall!)

We are determined not to waste any of our pumpkins, so we are cooking with the leftover bits from carving – my daughter Rachel took four of the carved pumpkins from the first weekend and has now cooked and frozen them. St James’s told me they were planning to dry and use the seeds and make pumpkin jam with the pumpkin flesh. FoodCycle, of course, can make anything out of them – the menu at Pip’s Pumpkin Popup used pumpkins imaginatively in every dish, and the four-course meal was fabulous: sweet sesame and soy pumpkin bites, pumpkin hummus on rye and pumpkin seed crackers; roasted pumpkin, fennel and ginger soup; pumpkin, cranberry and red onion tagine, Chormoula roast pumpkin with with feta; pumpkin meringue pie, spiced pumpkin baklava, ginger and pumpkin cheesecake – and that was just the parts with pumpkins in – there was lots more! Wonderful! At home more prosaically we’ve used them for various dishes – stir-fry with rice, soup…… Last year I made a really great risotto and I expect I’ll do that again.

Happy pumpkin cooking and happy halloween!