Apple orchards experiencing busy year amid pandemic

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 11:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Since March many businesses have been forced to adapt to the Coronavirus pandemic, and some seasonal businesses that are open during the fall months are using their outdoor space to their advantage.

What started off as a lot of uncertainty going into the fall season, turned out to be good crowds and people ready to enjoy the fall festivities.

The Country Apple Orchard has been a part of the Harrisburg community for 16 years, and this year they had to make some changes.

“Well if we are in the store we are requiring masks, or face coverings, and then we are trying to limit the number in the store so it doesn’t get too crowded. We’ve blocked off some of our area in our dining room so it is a little more distant,” Country Apple Orchard Manager Nancy Olson said.

Apple orchard staff says the orchard and pumpkin patch sits on 80 acres of land, enough to spread out for social distancing, and Olson says this season has been surprisingly busy.

“Everyone is pleasantly surprised that they can come out here and they are enjoying their time outside with their family.” Olson added, “Last weekend we had our apple festival and we were real busy.”

The busy season is also being felt in Brandon at Hoversten Orchards.

“This is definitely record breaking for us, at least this year so far. I think people just wanting to get out of the house, fresh air and I mean it’s great. I think a lot of people hadn’t heard of us so it’s going really good this year,” Hoversten Orchards Manager Alicia Hoversten said.

Hoversten Orchards also has safety protocols in place, especially highlighting the things they aren’t doing this season.

“We aren’t touching anybody’s apples this year. Normally we would bag them for them, but this year once they pick them, they have to bag them and we aren’t touching anything. We don’t have samples out, any samples of cider or anything so that nobody is touching anything that is going to go into anyone’s mouth,” said Hoversten.

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