Winery’s unexpected bumper crop of pumpkins becomes local boon
Santa Margarita Winery donates pumpkins to local children
– When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. But when you get too many pumpkins, well, that’s when things get really creative. Such was the dilemma faced by Ancient Peaks Winery and their affiliated Margarita Adventures when they ended up with an unexpected bumper crop of pumpkins on Santa Margarita Ranch.
Rather than plow the gourds under, however, the winery owners and staff decided to stuff their vehicles with pumpkins and found many eager takers around the north county, including the Paso Robles School District and Santa Margarita Elementary School, as well as the Boys & Girls Club of North SLO County, a church and a daycare facility.
“It was a spontaneous decision to make some calls and try to find homes for these pumpkins, and the outcome was just really joyful,” said Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, the winery’s VP of operations. “Everywhere we went, the kids were so delighted when the pumpkins showed up.”
In all, more than 1,000 pumpkins were delivered to five locations. The winery also hosted a “U-Pick” at the ranch for local students and wine club members. At Georgia Brown Elementary School in Paso Robles, children not only enjoyed decorating the pumpkins—they plan to use the pumpkin seeds to help with creative math projects on estimation.
“The pumpkins were a great surprise and the kids had a blast decorating them,” said Kate Morgans, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of North SLO County. “Halloween is one of our favorite celebrations at the Boys & Girls Club. We throw a big party, and the kids will be proud to have their pumpkins displayed.”