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Pumpkin patch opens in St. Helena

Pumpkin patch opens in St. Helena

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Matteo Abreu and his girlfriend, Lexi Mangola, have been organizing their pumpkin patch at the end of Madrona Avenue since June.

It was just a coincidence that Sunday’s opening came when St. Helena families were looking for a way to relax and have fun after weeks of fear and anxiety during the Glass Fire.

Abreu said he and his family wanted to give St. Helenans a chance to go outside and get some fresh air – and sure enough, the weekend’s air quality was drastically improved from the previous weekend.

“We planted the seeds so that it would be exactly 100 days until October 1,” Mangola said. “We wanted to open a couple of weeks ago, but obviously we couldn’t.”

Aside from the choose-your-own-pumpkin patch, there’s a corn maze, a hay pyramid for the kids to climb and – fitting for a family that’s active in 4H and FFA – some goats and chickens. Mangola said she hopes to have a food truck and pumpkin painting next weekend.

Masks are required, naturally.

“It’s something people can do outside,” she said. “There’s enough room that everyone can socially distance.”

Mangola and Abreu hopes to keep the pumpkin patch open through Thanksgiving, as long as there are enough pumpkins.

“We have a bunch more pumpkins already picked, but I don’t know about the patch,” Mangola said Sunday. “It looks like everyone’s been out there today.”

Abreu said the pumpkin patch is a family affair. His uncle, Greg Abreu, used his Caterpillar to clear the land, and Matteo has used farm equipment from Abreu Vineyard Management, the company owned by his father, David Abreu. Matteo’s brother, Rico, was helping customers on Sunday.

“Having the family behind me really made this happen,” Abreu said.

You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or jduarte@sthelenastar.com.

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