Pumpkin patches, apple orchards stay open during pandemic

Here+is+a+picture+from+Afton+Apple+orchard+with+green+path+way.+A+cloudy+day+with+a+family+looking+at+the+apples+to+pick+out.+%0A

Photo by Michelle Cruz

Here is a picture from Afton Apple orchard with green path way. A cloudy day with a family looking at the apples to pick out.

This year fall, events have been modified because of the pandemic going on. The events are still going to be hosted by wearing masks, social distancing and many are looking forward to having fun this fall season. Local apple orchards that will be open are Aamodt’s Apple Farm until Dec. 31 and Afton Apple Orchard until Nov. 21.

Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are still open for the season and employees have jobs. These businesses are following the state of Minnesota safety guidelines for gatherings for these fall events. Employees working at these places are enjoying the experience with others working in a pandemic and are still able to work like they usually do.

Junior Madison Van Dusen said is working at Aamodt’s Apple Farm and her experience is fun working with others. She is not having any challenges at the moment.

For this fall, people go to apple orchards and pumpkin patches wear masks and try to maintain social distancing. They do not want a lot of people at once at places and are limiting entrance to at least stay away from others. Also these businesses do not have transitional events happening now because they need to follow cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for everyone’s safety at public places but might not enjoy much.

“The biggest difference that I have seen are a lot of people wearing more masks but they have gotten rid of the petting zoo areas so I know a few of the orchards that we would go to had animals, but due to people congregating closer together to pet and feed those animals they’ve gotten rid of the animals. Also just looking at social distancing practices. Some have even limited the number that people can come in,” transition skills teacher Alex Ballweg said. “My favorite is the petting zoos, playing with animals, and feeding the animals and just doing the fun animal things. So with that being closed. I don’t enjoy the apple orchards as much.”

It’s been a lot colder this year. So, you can not really go inside as much because you have to wear masks and if you have children, you got to try and corral them more so with the colder weather and the COVID restrictions, it makes it a lot more difficult to enjoy.”

— Alex Ballweg

Employees of apple orchards are working to keep it safe for customers to enjoy their experience. They have to disinfect everything and keep people away from others. Employees let the customers pick out their own apples or grab prepackaged bags so they feel comfortable with them touching it. They want everyone to enjoy their experience with picking out like they want.

Van Dusen works at Aamodt’s apple farm packaging “individually packaged barley items and wiping down surface and tables”, which occurs for for everyone’s safety. “It is just like a grocery store they grab their own stuff.”

This fall it is colder and makes it harder for people to go inside, since there are limits for people. People can still go to these events and have fun with loved ones even though it is different than previous years.

“I think it is a shift in the weather that people enjoy being outside and doing different activities. I think it is also just tradition that this is just what people do and it is a great family orientated event,” Ballweg added “It’s been a lot colder this year. So, you can not really go inside as much because you have to wear masks and if you have children, you got to try and corral them more so with the colder weather and the COVID restrictions, it makes it a lot more difficult to enjoy,” Ballweg added “I think people can still have a good time there are still things for kids to do, they still have the food available for people to eat while they’re there so there’s still opportunities for fun, it is just a different format.