Life is gourd at Cammas Hall for half term Hallowe'en
Give the kids pumpkin to talk about this Hallowe'en half term, says Olivia Vandyk, after visiting the farm near Hatfield Broad Oak.
“Spooky Fields Forever” are the words that greet you as you pull up to Cammas Hall during the autumn season – and they’ve certainly gone to town to level up your pumpkin picking.
On arrival we were met by Imelda the super-friendly witch, who welcomed us with a brisk shake of her broomstick into the pumpkin patch.
With plenty of spooky interaction, stepping through a whole fort made of pumpkins with a dragon, there’s definitely magic in the air.
There was so much fabulous produce – scores of varieties, some of which I'd never seen before – tasteful pale pumpkins, traditional bright pumpkins, striped pumpkins, Turkish turban pumpkins and funky winter squash.
I went with a very good friend and her baby and got some super-cute photos for social media in amongst the pumpkins.
Patch the scarecrow was full of jovial jokes and japes to show us around. Younger visitors will love hanging out with him.
I took the opportunity to taste a drop of local deliciousness whilst perusing the pumpkins.
The Cammas pumpkins have been used by local and award-winning New River microbrewery to make the delicious Pump King Ale, which is available from the Kreepy Kiosk.
As a non-beer drinker I was pleasantly surprised by the mellow-tasting amber nectar – it was warming and moreish. I was reliably informed that mulled cider and pumpkin lattes will be available from the café, too.
But it’s not just choosing pumpkins – turns out that there's much more to do than just picking a pumpkin to take home.
While their maize maze has had a Hallowe'en spook-over, there are less scary things for younger ones – photo opportunities like Cinderella’s coach and the delightful scarecrow.
The spooky effects are just the right side of scary for younger children. For older children, the covered wicked walkway made from the cherry orchard was full of ghastly goings-on. Jump-scare Animatronics and cobwebs ahoy which lead to an abandoned playground/graveyard with a rather eerie atmosphere.
Perhaps some of the older primary school children may not be as scared, but they could maybe try the night sessions that the team are planning.
So whether it’s your baby’s first Hallowe'en or you have older ones, why not trick or treat them and make some great memories?
How to make roasted pumpkin seeds
Don’t chuck out your pumpkin innards! Once you’ve carved it, scoop out the seeds and flesh and you’ve got the basics for some yummy snacks.
Each pumpkin has around 500 seeds which can be roasted into a tasty and healthy snack. Why not try it?
Some say wash the pulp off the seeds thoroughly before cooking, others say leave it on as it becomes rich and chewy during the roasting process. It's up to you.
Pop your seeds into a bowl and mix with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and your favourite additions such as:
- Cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar
- Ginger & soy sauce
- Chilli flakes & fennel seeds
- Rosemary & garlic
- Chilli flakes & lime juice
- Garlic & parmesan
- Garlic & cumin seeds
Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake on a low temperature (150C or gas mark 2) for around 45 minutes. Keep checking to ensure that they don’t burn. Enjoy.