Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Local News

Bishop’s Adapts to Pandemic with New Picking System and Outdoor Bar

With the official first day of autumn just around the corner, pumpkin picking and other seasonal outdoor activities are returning to Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery.

Even with safety adjustments around the pandemic, Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bishop Dellaventura said that she expects to provide “a sense of normalcy and comfort” along with some new excitement at the beloved local business as leaves turn and fruit ripens on the trees.

“If it’s something we can do to help ease people’s minds and make them feel comfortable and carry on traditions that they’ve always done, then we want to be that place for them,” Dellaventura said.

Pumpkin picking starts this weekend, according to Dellaventura, and apples are already available with a new system already in place that allows customers to purchase a box or bag and fill it as much as they can, rather than weigh their hauls and pay by the pound.

This new system does not apply to pumpkins, she said, but ensures that those who want to pick apples or peaches don’t have to worry about anyone else touching their fruit.

“We’re not doing any handing of any fruit that people picked that we’re going to be eating. They touch it, it’s theirs, that’s it,” Dellaventura said.

There has been no complaints about this new system, Dellaventura said, as people overfill their boxes and bags with as much as they can carry.

“They’re getting their money’s worth,” she said, laughing.

People are required to carry face masks, but only have to wear them when they are within six feet of other pickers, according to Dellaventura. There will be capacity limits on the pumpkin patch, but Bishop’s will not implement appointments as some other orchards have done, she said.

“We’re just going to be asking people to be aware of their surroundings,” she said. “We want people to have fun, we want the kids to be able to have fun, but there’s going to have to be some control with the kids and not letting them freely roam and run around the fields, knocking into other people.”

Other activities like the corn maze (already open) and the apple train (coming soon) are still happening, though other more “hands on” activities likely won’t, Dellaventura said.

For the adults, Bishop’s plans to offer alcoholic beverages in an outdoor seating area near the pumpkin patch—something that has been planned for a while, according to Dellaventura, but will be especially pleasant on crisp, fall evenings as residents look for ways to get outside even as warm summer days fade.

“We’re hoping to have some fall music under the lights, for people to be able to enjoy kind of after-hours [as] another outdoor activity,” Dellaventura said.

For more information on Bishop’s Orchard, visit bishopsorchards.com.

Jesse Williams covers Guilford and Madison for Zip06. Email Jesse at j.williams@shorepublishing.com.

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