11 October 2022

A Farming Connect podcast has helped a Welsh farming family to launch a new pick-your-own pumpkin venture, creating a new income stream for their business.

Sheep farmers Tom and Beth Evans welcomed the first customers to their farm this weekend as Pwmpenni Pendre opened for business.

They have now revealed that a Farming Connect Ear to the Ground podcast, an episode which gave key advice on how to establish a PYO pumpkin business, played an integral role in not only launching the enterprise, but provided a virtual hand-holding service.

“We listened to this podcast over and over again,’’ says Beth. “When there were times we were unsure or had reservations we would listen again and that gave us the reassurance to continue.’’

The diversification has been established at Pendre, a 24-hectare holding at Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Aberystwyth, which is also a Farming Connect Demonstration Farm.

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Here they run a 480-ewe closed flock of Mule crossbreds, improved Welsh Tregaron-type and Welsh Hill Speckled Face ewes.

For their new venture, Farming Connect also stepped in with a valuable package of support when the couple needed it.

They took advantage of a one-to-one surgery and mentoring advice from Farming Connect mentor Gary Rees.

“All of these in combination made us go for it, and we are so pleased that we have.’’

As well as support from Farming Connect, there was assistance from horticulture support body TyfuCymru to set up a booking system and website, and advice from Chris Creed of ADAS.

The Evans family are now part of a Growers Group. “This is great for networking and sharing ideas and problem solving,’’ says Beth.

She admits she is very excited about welcoming visitors to their new venture.

A new episode of the Ear to the Ground podcast is released every fortnight and covers a range of topics. 

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