Autumn days out: Pumpkin picking at Penyfodau Fawr, Gowerton

Pumpkin picking has become a little autumn tradition of ours, and one I really look forward to. There’s nothing better than heading out as a family on a sunny autumn day, armed with my camera and the aim of choosing a load of pumpkins to decorate.

The past few years we’ve tried a few different places – Hendrewennol near Cardiff, and Brooksgrove Farm in Haverfordwest – but this year we stayed a bit closer to home and gave Penyfodau Fawr Farm Shop in Gowerton a go.

I’d seen on Facebook that they have two fields of pumpkins to choose from, which I hoped meant we’d be out for longer – there’s nothing worse than planning a trip somewhere and being done in half an hour!

As we got to the roundabout leading to the farm shop, the two cars in front of us turned off towards the farm … and the car behind us. We’ve passed there loads of times but have never been, and have never seen any cars head that way before, which got us wondering how busy it would be. The answer was … crazy busy!

Heading from the car to the field a queue was starting to build up as people waited for wheelbarrows. Luckily we were third in line, so hardly had to wait, but by the time we got back up it must have been a good 20-minute long queue.

The top field was quickly filling up with people, so we headed down to the bottom field (where I was secretly hoping the views would be nicer for photos), and it seems everyone else had the same idea. There were herds of people coming down the path, and some going back up the other way with dozens of pumpkins piled into their wheelbarrows. I did wonder if there would be any left!

Thankfully, the bottom field was huge, so even though it was incredibly busy we were all quite spread out. Some people stuck to the path, which meant that it was a bit congested around the side, but if you went into the middle of the field you had your pick of pumpkins in all sizes.

Our biggest boy wasted no time and was marching through the field trying to pick up giant pumpkins, pointing out bobbly ones, and traipsing back to the wheelbarrow with more every few minutes.

It didn’t take long before the wheelbarrow was completely full, and there was only just room for a little one on top of all the pumpkins! Every time our biggest boy brought another pumpkin over, we quickly took another one out, but we still ended up with way too many. Before heading back to the car we decided on two big ones to carve, a couple of smaller ones, and a grey one for me because, you know, Instagram.
But before we were allowed to go home, it was time for me to get a few nice photos of the boys. I’m thinking of framing some of these and changing up our gallery wall in the kitchen. It might be nice to have some autumn themed photos for a change … and I am really pleased with these ones. You can hardly tell that I only had a few seconds before they were on the move!

Just look at this little one’s wild hair!

I managed to get the most gorgeous photos of our littlest with Stew … he’s such a daddy’s boy, and makes no secret of it. These photos weren’t even intentional – I was trying to set up my camera for a photo of the four of us (which I didn’t get!) and they just looked so lovely and happy that I snuck a couple of snaps in. The second one makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst, I love it so much.

One of me…

And I did manage one of the three of us…

I love this first photo of our biggest boy – when I try to take photos of him he usually pulls a silly face, or growls at me because I’m annoying him, but for a change he gave me the loveliest smile. He seems to be growing up so quickly, but he still looks quite little here. It turns out pumpkins make the best little seats for photos!

And I managed to get some photos of our boys together, which I haven’t done for ages. If you have siblings you’d like to photograph together just pop them in a wheelbarrow so they can’t escape!

Once we’d finished down on the field, it was time to lug the wheelbarrow back up the hill. A word of advice – ditch the pumpkins you don’t want at the bottom, rather than pushing the whole lot up and then deciding which ones to keep! We put a few back on the field, found a lovely grey one, and joined the queue to pay.

By the time we got back to the car park area it was so, so busy! I couldn’t believe how many people had arrived since we got there. Me and the biggest boy went to have a look in the barn while Stew and the littlest paid, and had a mini hay fight. If you got there early or on a weekday you could probably get some lovely photos in the barn as it’s set up with hay bales and pumpkins, which looks really pretty. By the time we’d been to pick our pumpkins it was really busy there, with people trying to prop babies up on pumpkins, taking selfies and generally just getting in the way of my photos (jokes)!

After a lovely morning out, we headed home with a boot full of pumpkins, muddy wellies and ready for a cup of tea at home. I know it’s a proper blogger cliche to go pumpkin picking, and it seemed like to whole world was there, but it really is a nice way to spend a sunny morning. Shame it only comes once a year!

I know this has been a mega photo-heavy post, but just one more because it really makes me laugh. This was a proper press the shutter at the perfect moment kind of photo…

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