Looking for the perfect gift this Halloween? Tips on growing the biggest and most beautiful pumpkins? Or maybe just interested in the history of such an autumnal staple? Look no further than our latest blog all about the humble pumpkin and the best kit that contains everything you need to grow your own!
With Halloween just around the corner, Nutley’s Kitchen Gardens have created a fun and fiendish Pumpkin Grow Bag with all the equipment that you need to grow your own Jack O’Lantern pumpkins!
The rustic hessian bag includes all you need to grow the spooktacular pumpkins, such as compost, seeds, polypots, markers and a colourful instruction leaflet. The kit makes a great gift for children as well as family and friends who enjoy getting into the Halloween spirit.
Bright and bold orange pumpkins are always a welcome and striking look in your garden or allotment. Instantly reminding you of the treasures autumn has to bring, the pumpkin is a hugely popular squash which dates back thousands of years.
The Native Americans would use the flesh of the pumpkin as food, helping them make it through the long and bitterly cold winters. The tough skins would be used as bowls to store grains, beans and seeds and the seeds themselves were often used as medicine.
In your Nutley’s Pumpkin Grow Bag you will receive a pack of the finest Thomas Etty Jack O’Lantern seeds. The Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin is the classic bright orange pumpkin that is associated with Halloween. Here are our top tips for making the best from your seeds:
◊ Once you have grown the seedling and planted them, add liquid potash feed to the pumpkin fruit. Continue to do this fortnightly for best results.
◊ If your plant is smothered with leaves from the plant, don’t be afraid to remove any to ensure your fruits are exposed to the most sunlight possible – a key factor in growing large and healthy pumpkins.
◊ Try and leave the fruits on the plant as long as you possibly can. Be sure to then pick your harvest of pumpkins before the early frost arrives. Try and keep your crops in the sun once harvested. This will help harden the skins and deepens the delicious sweet and autumnal flavours of the pumpkin.
◊ Be sure to keep your pumpkins raised off the ground once picked. Why not try our handmade willow trugs, or honey pine wooden crates which can be found by clicking here. You could also recycle any wood you have lying around, or upcycle clothing by producing a creative hammock for your pumpkins in the garden.
Store in a cool, dry space and eat as soon as they show any sign of spoiling.
Made using a shortcrust pasty, this Nutley’s pumpkin pie recipe requires 650 grams of pumpkin which needs to be cut into bite-sized pieces – not forgetting to remove the skins or any seeds. Other ingredients include: 3 large eggs, 75 grams of brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoons of mixed spice (cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg) and 200g of cream cheese.
Preheat your oven to 220°C, or 200°C for fan-assisted ovens, and place your pumpkin wrapped in tin foil onto a baking tray. Let it cook for around 25 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Uncover to cool. Then bake your pastry and for about 20 minutes, being sure to blind bake the pastry. Don't forget to turn down the oven to the correct temperature when baking your pastry.
Blend or mash the pumpkin and then add the required cream cheese, sugar and mixed spice. Pour your mix into your cooled pastry base and then bake the entire mix and base in the oven for around 40 minutes until the pie looks set.
Place to one side to cool and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream.
If you are looking for some other inspiration on how to use a glut of pumpkin from your allotment or maybe just wanting to make the most of your spooky Halloween pumpkins, why not try these other fun and creative pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Marmalade Recipe via lovefood.com
Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes via millycookbook.com
Pumpkin and Caramel Cake via bbcgoodfood.com