WHEN ARE THE PUMPKIN PLANTING SESSIONS?
These will be held during the second week of the Easter holidays and during the first week back after the holidays. Each session lasts an hour.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE PUMPKIN PLANTING SESSIONS?
The first half of the session is focused on planting pumpkins. The children begin by collecting compost from the compost heap, then use that in the polytunnel to plant their seeds in colourful pots. They water them, label them and learn about how to care for them. They plant two seeds, one to take home and the other to leave at the patch. This will be grown for the child so they can return to see it in the Autumn if they like.
The second half of the session is spent visiting and feeding the animals on the smallholding. This is likely to include sheep, hens, baby chicks and bunnies.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The hour-long session costs £10 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult (there is no charge for adults). Siblings who are too young to join in are welcome to come along and watch.
WHAT AGE IS IT SUITABLE FOR?
Any child up to the end of primary school. We don't have a minimum age but to get the most out of the sessions a child would probably need to be at least 3. The children do need to be able to follow a few instructions in a group setting. However, we are happy to take younger children as long as they are accompanied by an adult who is happy to be hands on and help the child. Sometimes adults like to bring a baby to plant a pumpkin on their behalf, and we are very happy with this. If a parent/carer thinks a child will be too young to join in, they are very welcome to come and watch if an older sibling has booked.
DOES THE COST INCLUDE THE PUMPKIN ONCE IT HAS GROWN?
No the £10 fee just includes the planting session, visiting the animals and taking one planted seed home. It takes a lot of work to grow a pumpkin so I'm afraid we cannot include the final pumpkin in the booking price. If you would like to purchase your child's pumpkin from the pumpkin patch once it has grown please book a ticket to the pumpkin patch. Priority booking will be given to people who came to the planting sessions. The cost of your child's pumpkin will depend on its size, but most will cost £5.
HOW WILL I FIND MY CHILD'S PUMPKIN IN THE PUMPKIN PATCH?
The pumpkins planted by the children will be grown in a separate "children's patch" and will be labelled with their name.
DO I HAVE TO BUY MY CHILD'S PUMPKIN?
No. If you would like to return to visit the pumpkin patch in October you will be able to book tickets (these will go on sale in early September) and you can see your child's pumpkin when you are there. If you would like to buy it you can, or you can choose a different one from the main pumpkin patch if you prefer. Please note the pumpkin variety we will be growing at the planting sessions is a relatively small variety, as they tend to do best in the slightly tricky growing conditions in Scotland. These pumpkins will be big enough to carve and will have plenty of flesh for cooking with, but will not be as large as many of the jack-o-lantern pumpkins for sale in the supermarkets. They may also not be quite as perfect looking as supermarket pumpkins, and may be partly green and partly orange. But we think this makes them even more beautiful!
DO YOU HAVE A TOILET?
Yes we have a composting toilet.
DO YOU HAVE A CAFE?
No we do not have refreshments available at the pumpkin planting sessions. However, we are spoilt for choice with so many lovely cafes nearby. These include the Coffee Apothecary, The Barn, The Murly Tuck, the cafes at Haddo and Formartine's. Please bring a drink for your child if they are likely to get thirsty as they may do a lot of running around.
DO YOU HAVE HAND WASHING FACILITIES?
Yes and at the end of each session we ensure that all visitors wash their hands. This is extremely important after touching the animals.
HOW DO WE FIND YOU?
We are located near Udny Green, about 9 miles north of Aberdeen. If using the sat nav, the postcode is AB41 6SP but note this will take you to a farmhouse around the corner. With this on your right, drive to the end of the road, turn right and Udny Pumpkins is the first on the right.
If approaching from Aberdeen, drive along the B999 towards Pitmedden. Take the left turning marked Millbank, just before the turning to Udny Station. Udny Pumpkins is just over a mile up that road on the right.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
Warm clothes that can get messy and, most importantly, wellies. It can be very muddy.
CAN YOU CATER FOR SCHOOL OR PLAYGROUP VISITS?
Yes we have a small number of sessions available for groups such as primary school classes, nurseries and playgroups on 22nd and 23rd April. These can be booked here by searching under the correct date. A group visit would typically follow a similar format to the pumpkin planting sessions, starting with pumpkin planting and followed by a chance to visit the animals. Two pumpkins would be grown for the class or group in the pumpkin patch, and each child would plant a pumpkin seed to take home with them. Jenny, who runs the sessions, has PVG certification under Disclosure Scotland and a risk assessment is available on request. We may be able to accommodate group visits at other times. Please contact us for more information.