After 2020…

A previous post covered the “bad” from 2020. This one is more about the “good.”

You may be surprised that there was any good to last year. But if you visited our farm, I hope you made some happy memories.

As the virus spread in the spring, we had no idea what to expect from the the 2020 marketing season. But we knew that if people were going to come out to the orchard, they would want to feel safe. So we focused on the things we could control that would keep people safe and help them have fun on the farm.

I had long thought about using an old oversized wagon frame as the base for a new “people-mover.” This was the year to do it. We removed a dying 100-year old oak tree from the market area and had it sawn into heavy lumber. A local welder provided some scrap steel. We repurposed parts of our old market roof, and soon we had a very nice *large* wagon to help move people around the fields.

Old parts -and new- come together to make a new wagon

A new retail point-of-sale system provided us with the flexibility to take payments in the strawberry fields, helping to eliminate any unnecessary lines in the market. And we reallocated acreage for weekday pick-your-own so that people could come pick apples during non-peak times. Our retail staff braved the hottest summer on record, without air conditioning, behind masks.

And all these efforts appeared to pay off. Our retail and pick-your-own business was very busy this year with positive feedback on our efforts.

My hope is that people will cherish some of the good from 2020. A trip to the orchard is more than just a way to put good food on the table, it is a great way to make memories with people you love. And that’s worth remembering.

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