Students squash previous crop with smashing pumpkin patch

The pair have grown six times as many pumpkins in comparison with last year - with more than 20,000 ready to be picked.

Students squash previous crop with smashing pumpkin patch SWNS via SWNS

A pair of students are celebrating a bumper crop at their pumpkin patch which started as a lockdown hobby– with more than 20,000 ready to be picked.

Alex Humphreys, 23, and David Grant-Suttie, 22, started the patch last year with just 3000 pumpkins after planting the seeds when they were bored during lockdown.

But this year they have grown more than six times as many pumpkins on a three-acre field at David’s family farm on Balgone Estate in North Berwick, East Lothian.

Alex, who is studying for a masters in international business at the University of Edinburgh, said they have welcomed around 8000 people to the farm in just four days.

And he said the warm weather this year created the perfect conditions to produce a ‘bumper’ crop – including Pot of Gold, Atlantic Giant, Goosebumps and Jack O’Lantern.

Rachael Cockbain and Katy Roberts choose their pumpkins at Balgone Pumpkins in North Berwick. SWNS via SWNS

They have also grown big white Polar Bear pumpkins and tiny Munchkin ones after planting nearly 15,000 seeds earlier this year.

Alex said: “We continued this year on the back of last year’s success which was a really enjoyable.

“It was so nice to see everyone come together and enjoy getting stuck into the farm.

“We are still on the learning curve but increased our crop a lot this time around and it’s been a bumper year for the pumpkins.

“The plants are looking really healthy and have produced great pumpkins.

“The weather had a huge impact on the crop, it was a lot warmer earlier in the year which created perfect conditions.

“We planted the seeds at the end of May which is later than normal, but it paid off as the pumpkins began to ripen in good time.

“It’s been the perfect year.”

Two-and-a-half-year-old Harris Lord pushes his wheelbarrow at Balgone Pumpkins in North Berwick.

Alex said they are trying to encourage customers to think about recycling their pumpkins after Halloween by giving them recipes ideas.

He added: “We have a variety on offer, including Polar Bears which are the big white ones, and the little cute Munchkin pumpkins.

“We are also encouraging customers to think about recycling their pumpkins and trying to give them ideas for recipe they can use them in afterwards.

“It’s been really busy, we have had around 8000 after just four days.”

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