An enterprising Galwaywoman and former journalist has decided to capitalise on the US trend of families attending a pumpkin patch to handpick their pumpkin at Halloween by setting up a pumpkin patch at her family farm in Ardrahan, in south Galway.
Galway Pumpkin Patch will open to the public on Sunday October 21 and over the Saturday and Sunday of October Bank Holiday Weekend (27/28 ).
Adults and children can go along for a fun Halloween-themed day out, which includes much more than just pumpkin picking. There will be lots of decorations, fancy dress, games, and face painting. Tea, coffee and spooky treats will also be available on site between 10am and 4.30pm.
Galway Pumpkin Patch is the brainchild of Ardrahan native Caroline Whelan and her fiance Gerry Quinn. The patch is located on Ms Whelan’s family farm at Castletaylor Demense in Ardrahan. This is the first time the historic estate will be opened up to the public.
Ms Whelan explains how she came up with the idea. “Halloween has gradually become a much bigger celebration in Ireland than it once was. Halloween is massive in the States and pumpkin patches have been a trend there for many years. It is a big family day out to go to the farm where the pumpkin is grown and pick one out. Any trend that is popular in America always makes its way here eventually.”
A pumpkin patch was the perfect initiative for this enterprising couple, as Ms Whelan’s fiance Gerry Quinn is involved in his family’s fruit and veg business, and has been growing pumpkins for many years.
“I have always felt the beautiful setting of our family farm would lend itself well to an event. There are a few pumpkin patches in Ireland but I noticed there were none in Galway so we decided to grow some extra pumpkins this year and set up this event”
The Ardrahan woman who is a substitute teacher has launched Galway Pumpkin Patch on social media with Facebook and Instagram pages and says the reaction has been incredible.
“We have been blown away by the response to it so far. People seem to love the idea and there are lots of tickets sold. I have been sharing some pics of the decorations and the preperation - growing the pumpkins etc, and I think people like the idea of authenticity.
“My fiancee sells at Farmers Market in Moycullen and Ardrahan every week; people love to come for the home grown veg. Now they are being offered a home grown pumpkin, along with a few hours entertainment for all the family at a very reasonable price. I have a big interest in events and would definitely like to do more – It is something a bit different and we are all really excited about hosting Galway Pumpkin Patch on the family farm. ”
Ms Whelan explains that she is has three sisters, and that none of whom caught the livestock farming bug, but are determined to continue farming in some shape or form.
“We are a nurse, two primary school teachers, and an accountant, respectively. My parents were very into education – particularly my mother. I can see why – farming is a tough industry in which to make a good living – but the flipside is it is the most fabulous way of life. I won’t pretend to know a lot about livestock – and my dad would agree with that, but I am determined to look elsewhere to keep the farm going. I know my sisters feel the same. We want to keep it going because it is in our blood.”
All details about Galway Pumpkin Patch can be found on its Facebook and Instagram pages. Tickets for the event can be purchased on https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/galway-pumpkin-patch-tickets-50300218307 =.
Queries can be sent to the event’s social media pages or to [email protected].