30th October 2015

Pumpkin Patch Success for Stirlingshire Farming Family

A Stirlingshire farming family have hatched a “pick your own pumpkin” diversification idea which has proved a huge success in its first year.

Duncan and Rebecca McEwen of Arnprior farm near Stirling planted a small pumpkin patch on the 815 acre farm after considering a range of diversification opportunities during their time as Quality Meat Scotland monitor farmers.

The family has made many changes to their business during their three year term as monitor farmers, including a range of improvements which have seen the quality and performance of their grassland improve considerably.

The couple, who have three young children and run the farm with Duncan’s parents, have been astounded by the public response, primarily driven by social media. The farm has been inundated with families keen to encourage their children to have a taste of authentic farming life while choosing their pumpkins from the patch.

The couple planted 300 pumpkin plants which they had grown in a greenhouse on the farm at the start of May and, despite the challenging weather conditions, were very pleased with the number of quality pumpkins produced. The patch was protected with electric fencing by night to prevent any potential of pumpkin pilfering!

Rebecca McEwen’s artist ability also proved a huge hit with visitors. Guests were welcomed to Arnprior by giant pumpkin faces, made out of brightly coloured straw bales, and a range of Halloween-themed activities were on offer.

“We have been amazed by the response from the public with people travelling more than an hour to get to visit the patch. We sold out very quickly with all 600 pumpkins going within a matter of days,” said Duncan McEwen.

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