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Thursday 21 June 2018

'There's no such thing as the perfect pumpkin'

Pumpkin grower, Denise Buckley with Chris Stafford, Category Manager at Keelings.
SuperValu.
Pumpkin grower, Denise Buckley with Chris Stafford, Category Manager at Keelings. SuperValu.
Chris Stafford, Category Manager at Keelings with Pumpkin grower, Denise Buckley.
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

One of the largest growers of pumpkins in Ireland, Lispopple Apples, will sell 25,000 pumpkins this year as demand for the squash grows.

And, according to Denise Buckley there is no such thing as a perfect pumpkin. “You’ll always have marks on pumpkins and I’ve seen amazing and very imaginative carving with odd-shaped ones.”

Denise, who runs the farm with her mother Maura, first started growing pumpkins in the North Co Dublin farm 25 years ago.

She has worked on the family farm, which has been in the Buckley family for three generations, since she left school and was looking for alternatives to grow.

“We started with courgettes and then pumpkins,” she says and today Lispopple Apples supplies SuperValu shops around the country.

It takes 9ac of land to grow the 25,000 pumpkins and the same soil can only be used for two years.

“We plant the seeds in April indoors and then outdoors in May and harvesting begins from the end of September.

“The pumpkins grew quite well this year, although we could have done with more sunshine.”

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While Denise’s favourite pumpkin dish is stirfry or roast pumpkin, she says there is no waste with them as her husband, who runs a sheep farm, takes any pumpkin waste there is for the sheep. Keelings also supply SuperValu who sell around 120,000 pumpkins from five Irish growers.


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