PUMPKINS

Oakley Farms grow a selection of varieties of pumpkins to ensure the complete range of sizes is available to meet all our customers’ specifications. Sizes range from 500g to 10kg + most customers’ pumpkin specifications are now given in diameter starting at 70mm and up to 300mm.

Plants are grown on our nursery. Seeding begins at the end of March through to early May. These are then transplanted to the fields in April and May. Some pumpkins are drilled directly into the open fields.

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Pumpkins are harvested by means of a harvesting rig. The pumpkins are trimmed from the plant, placed on a conveyor belt, which takes them up to the trailer where they are put on another belt and taken through the washer. When they reach the end they are put into bins to be transported back to the store.

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Handling is kept to a minimum. Pumpkins are very tender and care is taken to ensure fruits are not damaged during the harvesting and washing operation as this may lead to problems during storage. Harvesting begins in early September; some varieties of small pumpkins are sold early for culinary purposes.

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We store most of our pumpkins in polytunnels and glasshouses, we find this gives them a good environment for keeping and curing. Temperature can be controlled to give frost protection and good airflow around the pumpkins.

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The picture above shows our pumpkins packed into supermarket dollies awaiting despatch.

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White Pumpkin

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Red Pumpkin

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Crown Prince Squash

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‘Superfreak’ Pumpkin

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Miniature Pumpkins

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Medium Size Pumpkins

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There are many different images that can be created with pumpkins.

Pumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack
  • Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A
  • Pumpkins are used for feed for animals
  • Pumpkin flowers are edible
  • Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake
  • Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits
  • Pumpkins originated in Central America
  • In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites
  • Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds
  • The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds
  • The name pumpkin originated from “pepon” – the Greek word for “large melon”
  • Pumpkins are 90% water
  • Pumpkins are a fruit
  • Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October
  • Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine

A Typical Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Description: Traditional Pumpkin pie is a must for Thanksgiving. But, try not to forget it during the other times of the year. It has the same taste regardless of season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Cooked, strained pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Evaporated Skimmed Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Orange Peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Unbaked Pie ShellPumpkin Pie

Preparation Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Mix pumpkin, sugars, orange peel and
  • spices in large bowl
  • Add evaporated milk and eggs
  • Mix all ingredients well
  • Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell
  • Bake at 450 degrees for fifteen minutes
  • Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes more

TIP: If crust begins to get too brown, loosely cover crust only with foil.

 

Variations:

  • Substitute allspice for nutmeg
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Bourbon for Bourbon Pumpkin pie
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Serving Tips and Suggestions:

  • Everyone likes a little whipped cream with his or her pumpkin pie. Try putting a cherry on top of the whipped cream for some extra colour
  • Fresh blueberry or shaved chocolate is also effective in adding colour. Use chocolate sparingly as too much affects taste