Andrea and Jörg Schmidt have come to love every kind of pumpkins. In their Zwethau pumpkin domicile, everything revolves around the mostly annual herbaceous plant, which has already been known for about 10,000 years. What used to be leisure time enjoyment has meanwhile turned into true professionalism. The Schmidt family grows a number of plant varieties on huge surfaces, cultivating and processing them with a great deal of creativity. What started out as a modest creative studio has in time turned into a huge pumpkin adventure centre, inviting visitors to a traditional farm festival every year on the 1st of May – during which time the focus
is on plant sales and social entertainment.

However, especially in autumn, during the so-called pumpkin wedding, their estate turns into a true home to pumpkins: the pumpkin festivals, the Halloween events, the monthly Sunday brunch, and the Advent festivities celebrate pumpkins and attract hundreds of visitors.

The family creates its own recipes, all of which revolve around pumpkin: cake, stollen, soup, bratwurst, sparkling wine, tea, and plenty more treats. The dining service and gastronomic experience are also characterised by the pumpkin. An exhibition and, since 2017, also a pumpkin museum lovingly have explained everything visitors would like to know about this natural product. Here you can marvel at deft carvings, creative decorations and a wealth of pumpkin varieties – ranging from acorn squash, Kamo-Kamo and Mandarin, right up to the calabash, the African drum or rattle instrument. The Schmidt’s pumpkin family boasts more than 100 varieties, with the heaviest to date weighing in at 135 kilos.

The information and photos included in this article were taken from the brochure "EAST ELBIA - INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE" prepared by b&s consulting and training for the rural area GmbH, as part of the "ARTISTIC" project.