Man amazes family by growing gigantic pumpkins in their Little Ranch orchard

A FAMILY who have taken an autistic man into their home have expressed their amazement at the gigantic pumpkins that he has grown.

Carol and Michael Day, owners of Little Ranch Leisure in Begdale, near Elm, have cared for 38-year-old Mark Eldridge for more than five years

He was struggling to find somewhere to live before Mrs Day, who became fond of Mr Eldridge during her time as a carer, persuaded him to join the family.

Last year the Days gave Mr Eldridge an allotment at their orchard and have been blown away by the sheer size and amount of pumpkins that he has produced.

Mr Day said: “We’re simply amazed at how big they are. They’re absolutely massive and we’re not sure why they’re so big - it must be good Fen silt.”


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“We’ll be selling them down at our farm shop on Redmoor Lane and I’d say some weigh over 100 pounds.

“The main thing for us is that Mark loves having an allotment. It gives him some independence because he comes down here and enjoys growing things. It makes him happy, which is all we want.”

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Little Ranch Leisure has developed immensely after the family diversified their business which has produced fruit and vegetables for nearly 40 years.

Eighteen acres of orchard and farmland now include a family run touring park and fishing lake at the site in Begdale.

Mrs Day, who spent 23 years as a carer, is just pleased at how Mr Eldridge has settled into the family.

“He’s really become part of the family,” she said.

“He’s jolly, cheerful and brilliant to have around. He’d got to stage where he had nowhere to go so we were more than happy to have him here and he even comes on holidays with us.”

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