herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

30pc increase in sales of pumpkins as growers hit the Halloween jackpot

IRISH pumpkin growers are reporting a bumper harvest, with many sold-out well before trick or treaters go knocking on doors.

One Irish supermarket is reporting a 30pc increase on sales of pumpkins compared to last year.

SuperValu expects to sell 115,000 pumpkins by the end of Halloween - 30,000 more than last year.

And Meath pumpkin farmer Declan Canning has described how he has had a bumper year after selling more than 2,000.

"I've been sold out for a day or two now, but people are still calling up to the farm because I have a scary tunnel for the kids to go through and I have the place decorated so people like to call up and see it," he said.

brilliant

"It's brilliant news for me. The place might not be as colourful now as it was two weeks ago because the pumpkins are gone and we are pretty much done now."

Supermarkets in the UK have reported a shortage of pumpkins after thousands rotted in the wet weather.

However, the majority of Irish growers appear to have avoided the rot and are reaping the rewards.

Declan said that his company, Meath Pumpkin, doesn't sell ordinary pumpkins but prefers to focus on the iconic pumpkin image with the long stalks, and he believes that is why his are such a hit.

"We didn't have the rot, what we had was demand, and now I'm going to have to increase my crop for next year," he said.

"The pumpkins that I sell are not the same ones you see every day, these are a different thing altogether. The pumpkins in the shops are a conformed size because it's easier to transport them. They don't have the long handles as we call them.

"We're selling the iconic picture that people have in their minds, and that is why we have done so well.

"I didn't know anything about pumpkins four years ago, but I researched them and had my first crop three years ago.

"I had land, spotted the trend after living away for a few years and I saw the opportunity and took it."

hnews@herald.ie

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