Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Poor pumpkin harvest

001According to the Daily Telegraph of 19 October 2015, heavy rain in August drastically reduced the 2015 pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) harvest.  The pumpkin market in the United Kingdom is worth some £6 million, with Sainsburys expecting to sell 1.5 pumpkins, two-thirds of them in the week before Hallowe’en.

Update:   The Times of 26 October 2015 reported that according to one supplier wet weather conditions ‘had cut the crops [of pumpkins] by half’.  As a result of this English Heritage is encouraging people ‘to rediscover the original carved decoration – the humble turnip [Brassica rapa]’, a number of which ‘carved with ghoulish designs’ have been installed at its Dover Castle property for half-term week.                                                                                                              ‘Long before the pumpkin became the Hallowe’en decoration of choice, people across Britain carved scary faces into turnips and placed them near doorways to frighten away evil spirits.’

Image:  Piccadilly, Manchester, 31 October 2015.

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