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Fall Fun: What’s Different at Local Apple Orchards This Year

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ORONOCO, Minn. (FOX 47) -- The first day of fall is next Tuesday, but local apple orchards and pumpkin patches have already kicked off their season.

But in the age of COVID, what changes should customers expect?

"We've made our COVID preparedness plan, and that includes keeping the customers separate from the employees," said Patty Eckdahl, owner of Northwoods Apple Orchard. "So our store isn't open this year. We're selling through the windows.

"One of the other big things is the 'pick your own' - we're doing more pick your own than what we've had in the past. And we've opened up new areas so that people can pick their own apples off the tree, bag them, and take them home and nobody else touches them besides them."

And for Steve and Patty Eckdahl, they think of their visitors as family, so they're doing everything they can to make it a safe experience.

"We've made the effort to do what we've been - not only required to do - but what makes us feel safe as the owners and family, with family here, and our staff, a lot of whom are family as well, that we're making it safe for us, and we're making it safe for others," explained Eckdahl.

Especially during the struggle of a pandemic, supporting small businesses is essential.

"Not only our business, but all of the other small businesses. There's another orchard in Olmsted county that really depends on this short 2 month season. And there's just so many fun things to do and to see."

Northwoods Apple Orchard is open until October 31st, so make sure to enjoy the beautiful Minnesota fall while you can.

Check out their Facebook page for announcements.

Maddy Wierus

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