In recent years, social media has played a significant role in boosting the popularity of pumpkin picking during Halloween season. This trend has become a lucrative venture for farmers, with some businesses in Flintshire, Wales, making £30,000 per acre by offering pick-your-own experiences. Phil Handley, from Mostyn Kitchen Garden, explained that people are willing to pay more for the outdoor experience and the fun of picking their own pumpkins, compared to the prices at supermarkets. With an average price of £5 per pumpkin, farmers can earn up to £25,000 per acre, and including refreshments, the figure can exceed £30,000.
The popularity of pick-your-own experiences has surged due to social media, with Forage Farm on the Penllyn Estate in the Vale of Glamorgan experiencing a 40% increase in ticket sales. The farm is expecting around 4,000 visitors over the weekend. While social media has played a role in promoting pumpkin picking, many customers are returning visitors, indicating the growing popularity of this activity. More farmers are venturing into pumpkin cultivation as it can be a lucrative crop. However, it requires six months of planning and work to reach this stage.
The demand for pumpkin picking in the Vale of Glamorgan is high, with five farms offering this experience within an eight-mile radius. According to Matt Homfray, managing partner at Forage Farm, all neighboring pumpkin farmers have been sold out. The Farmers’ Union of Wales sees this kind of diversification as an opportunity to bring farming closer to people and provide an additional income source for farms.
Customers, such as David and Maria Booker and their son Luca, are drawn to pumpkin picking after seeing it on social media. They enjoy the family-oriented experience and appreciate farms sharing it with them. Ceri Russell and her daughter Kady also enjoy pumpkin picking, despite getting covered in mud. They are influenced by the popularity of white pumpkins on Instagram. Cat Gauci, who was with her husband and children, mentioned that all her friends take their children pumpkin picking and share pictures on Instagram, which contributes to the activity’s popularity.
Overall, social media has had a significant impact on the popularity of pumpkin picking, making it a profitable venture for farmers. It has brought families together and provided an enjoyable outdoor experience during Halloween season.