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Creepy carving; Pumpkin workshops attract everyone from tots to teens -and dads quite like it too!

Byline: Alison Young

AS a child Tom Watt would carve out spooky Hallowe'en lanterns from swedes grown on the family farm.

Luckily children these days don't have to do battle with flesh that is quite as tough as traditional Hallowe'en pumpkins have surged in popularity and are now widely available.

And at the family run Gelynis Fruit Farm on the outskirts of Cardiff hundreds of children will be carving out their scary lanterns at a series of workshops run during half-term.

"The pumpkin workshops are the highlight of our year as they are so popular," said Tom, 31.

"We started running them about 10 years ago as we wanted another outlet other than the market for the pumpkins which we were growing on the farm.

"To start with we had to give the children lots of advice and help but these days they often know exactly what they want to create.

He said: "We probably have about 1,000 children coming through our gates over the course of the week and they range in age from toddlers to teenagers who think pumpkin carving is pretty cool."

Whatever their age all the children choose their own pumpkin, Tom cuts off the lid and then they are able to scoop out the flesh from the inside and carve out individual features.

"We have lots of examples which they can follow if they need inspiration and we give as little or as much help as is needed.

"It's really good fun, we have lots of Hallowe'en decorations around and put on a spooky treasure hunt around the farm."

With a childhood spent carving Hallowe'en swedes, the softer flesh of the pumpkin is easy prey for Tom, who is on hand to give both practical and artistic advice.

"I think it was pure determination that enabled me to carve the swedes," laughed Tom.

"The pumpkins are certainly easier to carve.

The dads who come with their children seem to enjoy it although sometimes they take over and their children are just left looking on!"

The pumpkin workshops at Gelynis Farm, Morganstown, start on Saturday, October 25 and run until Friday, October 31, from 10.30am to 4pm. The pounds 3 cost also includes a spooky treasure hunt around the farm and special pumpkin recipes. No booking is necessary.

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SPOOKY! Tom Watt from Gelynis Fruit Farm carves another creepy creation; PICTURES: Mark Fraser
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 18, 2008
Words:400
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