The Pumpkin People
A pumpkin field at harvest time


A year on the farm

The photos below show the process of growing pumpkins across a typical year. With the land having been prepared, a seed drill is used to sow the pumpkin seeds. Once germinated, the plants grow rapidly, and their vines soon cover the rows. Flowers bloom and are pollinated, before tiny green pumpkins begin to appear at their bases.

The seed drill in use
Rows of pumpkin plants
A flower on a pumpkin plant

The majority of pumpkin varieties are initially green, and will ripen once they approach their final size. When harvest time arrives, any remaining leaves are mechanically trimmed away, and the pumpkins are cut from their vines. In some cases the foliage will die back completely, leaving a dramatic orange coloured field.

A pumpkin before ripening
The trimming and cutting rig
Pumpkins ready for harvest

As with many other vegetables, pumpkins cannot be grown in the same field on consecutive years. A variety of new locations are chosen for each season.

Pumpkins ready for harvest
Pumpkins ready for harvest
Pumpkins ready for harvest

Over the years, harvesting methods have developed significantly. Arriving in 2020 was the latest harvester, which can pick the pumpkins up directly from the ground and wash them. Previously, all pumpkins were lifted by hand. Filled crates are moved to a heated storage facility, which helps to complete the ripening process for any pumpkins that are still slightly green. They are then ready for delivery to shops.

The pumpkin harvester
Loading the crates ready for transport
Crates going into storage
A pumpkin field