GUILFORD, CT (WFSB) — Nothing says fall like picking your own apples.
However, with concerns over COVID-19, farms and orchards are making the popular outings safe for families.
Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford has been in business for nearly 150 years, and while the apples still taste as sweet as ever, there are a few new procedures in place when it comes to picking your own during a pandemic.
“So, we wanted to make it right by everyone, and make everyone feel they’re coming to a comfortable place where they can trust, as they have for years,” said Sarah Bishop DellaVentura, of Bishop’s Orchards.
On Friday, Pattie Bello and her grandson were on their yearly trip to the orchard, but this year looks a little different, thanks to the coronavirus.
“I think they’ve done a great job. They organized it well, safety is their prime concern, they always do a good job and we adapt,” Bello said.
Adapting is what Bishop’s Orchards is doing as well.
“We have field monitors in place, making sure people are keeping their distance. We’re talking to people, we have rules and signs posted,” DellaVentura said.
The biggest change visitors will notice is they have to pay up front.
“Just to keep the rows, the lines down, also our staff having to handle your fruit and touch, this way you pay for what you pick, you go pick it, fill the bag till your heart’s content, or the box you’re picking, and go on your way,” DellaVentura said.
There’s also plenty of hand sanitizer and even a spot to wash your hands with soap and water before picking.
They also provide the containers, so you can leave your bags at home, and they are asking for large groups to split up so people can spread out.
Also, you’re required to wear a face mask when paying and when you can’t maintain six feet social distance from others.
“The joy about picking apples is, you get to roam the orchard and do your thing. We’ve got almost 100 acres where people are picking at for pick your own. It’s spaced out already, it’s just a matter of being self-aware of who’s around you,” DellaVentura said.
The corn maze also opens this weekend. The theme this year is a big heart, as a thank you to all the essential workers.