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Rutland Pumpkins is ready to open for a second season

Pumpkin farmers have doubled the size of their patch to welcome more families in the run up to Halloween.

Rutland Pumpkins opened for the first time last year and was such a hit with visitors that it sold out in six days.

This year, newlyweds Peta and James MacCartney have planted 15,000 seeds at their farm near Brooke to meet the demand.

Rutland Pumpkins
Rutland Pumpkins

Peta said: “This year will be bigger and better than ever. We sold out and had to turn lots of people away last year which was upsetting for us, so this year we’ve doubled the size of the patch.”

Setting up Rutland Pumpkins was Peta’s first venture into the world of farming last year. She juggles her new farming role with a full-time insurance job.

The dry weather proved to be a challenge, but this year’s changeable conditions have also kept the novice farmer on her toes.

James and Peta MacCartney
James and Peta MacCartney

She said: “We’ve had completely different growing conditions this year. Last year was very hot but this year has been dry and then very wet, so we weren’t sure how things would go, but everything has been growing well.”

The pumpkin patch opens for business next weekend (Saturday, October 16)

On Sunday, October 17, the team will be joined by farmer Jamie Wilde who will host a sheep dog show.

Peta said: “Like us, Jamie is always keen to promote British farming and showcase farming skills, so he was happy to get involved.”

Rutland photographer Lizzie Rees is also back on board and taking pre-bookings for family photo shoots in the pumpkin patch on October 23 and 24.

Seven 20-minute slots are available each day, costing £75 for the shoot and seven digital images.

To book visit: www.shootitmomma.co.uk once you have booked a slot at the pumpkin patch.

There will also be a hay bale maze and tower for children to play in, face painting by Shona’s Fabulous Faces and refreshments from Roaming Giraffe and Amo La Pizza.

Rutland Pumpkins is open from October 16 until 31.

Entry must be pre-booked online at: www.raddlemans.co.uk/tickets

Admission to the patch is free, but a range of pumpkin varieties will be available to buy including giant varieties for carving.

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