AROUND 450 pumpkin plants were planted at the Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams earlier this year — in the hope they would be used at their Pumpkin Harvest Festival.
However, with Covid 19 and the latest Level 3 restrictions putting paid to those plans, the students, gardeners and facilitators needed to think outside the box... Instead they have launched their first ever Pop-Up Pumpkin Shop.
Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams is an award winning non-profit social enterprise providing educational resources for adults with Down Syndrome at their inspiring base in Curraheen.
Back in May, students at Field of Dreams helped to plant 450 pumpkin plants at their educational gardens on campus. Usually, the display of perfectly plump pumpkins would be ready in time for their annual fund (and spirit) raising Pumpkin Harvest Festival.
Care Co-Ordinator, Debbie Kelleher said: “Field of Dreams is preparing for a very different Halloween this year. Unfortunately, our ambitious plans to host a Pumpkin Harvest Festival have been derailed by the current Covid-19 restrictions, but nonetheless, we are making all our pumpkins, grown chemical-free in our gardens, available to buy in our Pop-Up Pumpkin Shop right inside the gates of Field of Dreams.”
Whatever designs you may have on your pumpkin, be it a spooky Hallowe’en lantern or a tasty Pumpkin Pie, popping along to Field of Dreams and purchasing a pumpkin or two will help support a fantastic Social Enterprise initiative and a well-trusted local charity serving the needs of the Cork community.
“Like so many charities this year, Down Syndrome Cork has experienced a dramatic decline in our fund-raising activities, in line with a significant increase in the demand for the supports and services we offer,” says Debbie.
“So our Pop-Up Pumpkin Shop is one of the few fund-raising events on our horizon right now!”
Students have been back on site at Field of Dreams since early September continuing their educational and horticultural programmes.
“Our students have really enjoyed catching up with their peers, and, given the events of the past six months, providing opportunities to mix with their peers in an inspirational and holistic environment has never been more important.
“This has been the toughest of years, on so many fronts, and many of our members have experienced a reduction in their day services. To meet further member demand, we have also launched an outreach educational programme through Down Syndrome Cork’s Centre 21, and we are already fully subscribed.
“Our Connect programme is supported by Cork Educational Training Board and offers even more of our adult members opportunities for education, social contact and fun — all the things we do every well at Down Syndrome Cork!”
You can pick up a pumpkin for €5 at Field of Dreams at Clash Road in Curraheen.
This small act can make a big difference to all those who rely on the services of this wonderful initiative — and be in no doubt that they will be delighted you did!
The Pop-Up Pumpkin Shop at Field of Dreams is open 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for additional updated opening hours: www.facebook.com/fieldofdreamscork or phone: 021 487 8328.