I don’t remember PYO pumpkins being a thing but it is apparently. That said, although lots of farm shops sell pumpkins, I found surprisingly few Sussex PYO pumpkin farms and was saddened to learn of the demise of the epic Slindon Pumpkin Festival. But undeterred and as pumpkin picking does seem to be a popular, wholesome, and worthy pursuit, here are five PYO sites that I managed to find spread nicely across our county.
Sompting Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch
Just off the A27 in between Worthing and Brighton at Lychpole Farm, the Sompting Pumpkin is in its 5th year of pumpkin growing and is described as, “For the budding pumpkinologists, there are 25 acres of pumpkins to pick, and for the crafty, lots to create, make and take home.“. Their 2022 picking dates are: 8th – 9th October, 15th – 16th October, and 22nd – 30th October, between 9.30 am and 4 pm.
Manor Farm, Bignor
This is open on the 8th and 9th, 15th and 16th, and 22nd to 30th October from 10 am until 3 pm. Admission is free and there are refreshments on the Pumpkin Barn. More details on their Facebook page.
Rogate Pumpkin Patch
Rogate Pumpkin Patch is halfway between Midhurst and Petersfield on the A272. Picking is open from 14th – 30th October (10 am to 3 pm). booking is required. They also have “Merlin’s Wood to explore, Halloween décor, haystacks to climb, barrel rides and go-karts to whizz around in and maize to run through plus lots of pumpkin fun!”
Camelia Botnar Pumpkin Patch
Just outside Horsham and Cowfold, pumpkin picking at Camelia Botnar will be on Sat 8th – 9th, and 15th and 16th October 10 am to 3 pm. No need to book.
Tulleys Pumpkin Farm
Just outside Turners Hill on the road to Crawley, Tulleys Farm hosts a pumpkin experience that includes costumed characters walking amongst the pumpkins. Their picking days are: 24th – 25th September, and 1st – 2nd, 8th – 9th, 14th to 16th, and 19th – 30th October. They offer daytime, and nighttime picking sessions but you need to book.
South Farm at Rodmell
At the wonderfully named Cricketing Bottom, from Lewes go through the village of Rodmell, and after about 100 metres turn right down a farm track. The folks here are also raising money for The Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Charity. Their pumpkin picking starts on the 22nd of October but further details have not yet been revealed.
Stonehill Farm, Chiddingly
Last but not least of our Sussex PYO pumpkin farms, on the road between Horam and Chiddingly, Stonehill is a good old-fashioned PYO farm. They will be open for picking on the 15th and 16th of October and then from the 22nd to 30th of October.
Happy picking folks, or more importantly, happy carving and souping thereafter!
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