The Steyning Pumpkin Competition

Pumpkins of all different sizes are entered into the annual Pumpkin competition in Steyning, West Sussex, England. Photo © Scott Ramsey/nothhelm.com

Pumpkins of all different sizes are entered into the annual Pumpkin competition in Steyning, West Sussex, England. Photo © Scott Ramsey/nothhelm.com

Pumpkins of all sizes gathered, with their growers, at the Steyning annual pumpkin weigh-in competition earlier this month. Held in the picturesque small town just north of Shoreham in West Sussex, England, the event has been a regular fixture in the towns calendar for the last 10 years. This popular Autumn competition raises money for charity and is organised by local farmer Derek Crush and his daughter Louise, from Daylands Farm.

A crate of small pumpkins also known as gourds on sale at the Steyning Pumpkin Compettion. Photo © Scott Ramsey/nothhelm.com

A crate of small pumpkins also known as gourds on sale at the Steyning Pumpkin Compettion. Photo © Scott Ramsey/nothhelm.com

Derek took a moment from lifting the heavy pumpkins to tell us more about this traditional event. "We start much earlier in the year by selling pumpkin seeds to everyone who wants to take part. They take the seeds home, plant them and then once fully grown bring the pumpkins along to the competition to see which is the heaviest. It's all done for charity and this year we raised £160.00 for the local hospice."

This year's pumpkin competition raised money for St Barnabas House and coincided with the Steyning Famers Market which Derek and Louise also organise. The market takes place on the first Saturday of every month and is full of local fresh produce. In 2015 the market was named the 'Best Sussex Farmers Market" in the Sussex Food and Drink awards and is well worth a visit.

 


West Sussex Rural Life In Pictures - The Steyning Pumpkin Competition

Weighing pumpkins can be hard work especially on a wet Autumn day in early October but Derek and his team make it look easy. Once the pumpkins have been rolled, pushed, and then lifted into a sack, Derek sets up a peculiar looking old butchers weighing scale, which he hangs from the front of a tractor. With the sack secure it's lifted into the air and after a few adjustments, the weight recorded. The entire process takes a lot of effort but there's little time to rest as some of the local children are very keen to find out how heavy their pumpkin is! So it's onto the next one, let's hope for Derek's sake it's a bit lighter.

 

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