Scotland

Instagram drives growth in pick-your-own pumpkin farms

With Halloween upon us, it is becoming increasingly common to ditch the supermarket hunt for a pumpkin in favour of selecting directly from a farm field.

BBC Scotland News spoke to some of those harvesting this year's crop to find out why pumpkin picking has taken off.

Rebecca McEwen working in her pumpkin patch Image copyright Julie Howden

Rebecca and Duncan McEwen first opened their pumpkin patch five years ago, and visitor numbers to Arnprior Farm in Stirlingshire have risen every year since.

"Life stops come October and all our energy is put towards growing pumpkins," said Rebecca.

"When we started back in 2015, it was mainly families, but now there are a lot of couples on dates and groups of young people that come along too."

Rebecca and Duncan McEwen Image copyright Rebecca McEwen
Image caption Rebecca and Duncan McEwen have offered pumpkin picking at their farm for the past five years

Over the past few weeks, social media feeds have been peppered with pictures of people rolling up their sleeves and exploring Scotland's growing number of pumpkin patches.

Being "Instagramable" is a key reason for the popularity of pumpkin picking, according to Rebecca.

"People like to embrace the autumn vibe, eating pulled pork and drinking hot apple cider, ready to take that perfect shot for their Instagram profile."

Sarah Alexandra posing with her pumpkin Image copyright Sarah Alexandra
Image caption Sarah Alexandra poses with a freshly-picked pumpkin to match her jumper

Sarah Alexandra said she picked out a pumpkin to carve with her friends at Craigie's Farm near Edinburgh, after spotting the trend on social media.

She said: "This year I've noticed on Instagram a lot more people going to pick their pumpkins and posting pictures.

"The colours make it pleasing to the eye."

While capturing an "interesting" picture for social media was important to her, she said she went for the experience after having enjoyed taking part in fruit picking in the summer.

Chelsea McGivern, who visited Arnprior Farm with her partner Shaun and son Harrison, said it was a great day out for kids.

She admitted they would not go without taking pictures, describing it as "a once-a-year experience".

"Instagram plays a huge part when it comes to new trends such as pumpkin picking," she said.

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Seven-week-old Ayla is an early starter when it comes to fruit picking, and her dad Scott Stevenson said he was unable to resist the opportunity for a photo.

"Although Ayla is a bit young you can see the huge benefit in getting children interested in the growing of pumpkins, alongside apples, strawberries and carrots," he said.

"It's a great way to build up to Halloween and get Ayla out and enjoying nature.

"Now we just need to decide how to carve the pumpkin!"

Scott Ridout with the pumpkins he gathered Image copyright Scott Ridout
Image caption Scott Ridout got his hands on five pumpkins in time for Halloween
Bryony picking pumpkins in Auchterarder Image copyright Lucy van Helden
Image caption Lucy van Helden took this picture of her daughter Bryony, adding she was "very grateful" for the sledges to help move the pumpkins
Eve-Marie Josse's kids in a pumpkin patch wheelbarrow Image copyright Eve-Marie Josse
Image caption Pumpkins weren't the only thing in Eve-Marie Josse's wheelbarrow

All images are subject to copyright

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