The Young family on Mollies Farm in Clonaghadoo
Halloween in Laois is full of events this year, but top of the list must be the county's first ever Pumpkin Patch.
The Young family are based at Mollies Farm in Clonaghadoo, and this year they sowed pumpkin seeds for the first time.
"Our farm is a family run business and this is the first year we've opened our farm to the public. We saw that Halloween was becoming more popular in Ireland every year and loved the idea of having a pumpkin patch although our dad is not sure people will come to a farm to buy a pumpkin," said Amanda Young, whose parents are Eamon and Mary.
The fruits of their success are about 1,000 pumpkins which the public are now being invited to come along, pick out and carve at the farm, from Saturday October 28 at 10am until Tuesday October 31 at 4pm. There is no charge to visit, with pumpkins priced between €4 and €10.
"Entry is free and we will have old school games for kids to play and a carving station if people want to carve their pumpkins," said Amanda.
They all grew up on the farm and while most have moved away, their pumpkin project has brought everyone home to help out.
"The whole family have been involved from my brother Nathan helping plant them, my sister Wendy helping weed every weekend. My other sister Charlotte has done all the graphics & design work. In-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, too many helpers to mention," she said.
"It was a great place to grow up. Nathan still lives in the area and two of his children Abigale and Kian are in the local Clonaghadoo national school," said Amanda.
Growing the pumpkins took some trial and error.
"We wanted to learn as much as possible so tried a few different growing techniques, some worked, some didn't. We found planting the seeds in a polytunnel to help them start was the best technique, then transplanting them out to the field. We have about 1000 pumpkins of varying sizes," said Amanda.
The farm is opposite Clonaghadoo National School, off the Mountmellick to Tullamore N80 road.
For a full list of Halloween events in Laois, read here.
Special charity screening of Disney's Moana in Mountmellick cinema this Saturday. Read here.