Farm enjoying another bumper year for pumpkin picking
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
A farm which becomes a pumpkin-picking mecca in the build-up to Halloween is enjoying another bumper year.
Algys Farm Shop in Bintree, between Dereham and Fakenham, attracts thousands of visitors to its fields full of giant orange fruit every October.
Many families were left disappointed in 2020 as shops ran out of pumpkins earlier than usual.
And now, following another tumultuous year, many are seeking some autumnal fun to brighten the recent gloom.
It has put Algys at the forefront of what is an ever-growing trend for people to pick their own pumpkins.
On its busiest days, the business expects to welcome between 2,000 and 3,000 visitors.
Its owner, Algy Garrod, said: "We have been busy once again this year. There are a lot of people coming out to see us.
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"Sunday just gone was the busiest day so far. We are probably seeing even more interest and, in truth, up to 3,000 is all we can handle here.
"People have definitely been coming earlier because pumpkins were in short supply last year and a lot of people missed out."
Originally an American trend, pumpkin picking has also taken off in the UK in recent years - down in large part to the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram.
There are now dozens of locations in Norfolk offering 'pick your own' and, for families, couples and groups of friends, visiting their local pumpkin patch has become something of an annual pilgrimage.
Mr Garrod admitted he was increasingly staggered at the level of interest.
"A few years back we would put a display inside a marquee and it wasn't particularly popular," he said.
"But for the last five years it has grown which, in turn, creates a logistical issue. We can grow more pumpkins, but we cannot grow more parking spaces.
"It seems like it is definitely the thing to do these days. And the thing is, it is cheap entertainment, good value, you get outside and it is something for the kids as well.
"We get a lot of kids here, and plenty of big kids as well. They all want to post it on their Instagram."