MIDDLEFIELD — With June comes strawberry season, and this year is no exception, even if pick-your-own will look a little different due to the coronavirus.
Lyman Orchards is gearing up to open the fields for pick-your-own in early June. The exact date will be posted on its website and social media.
“We’re anticipating a really nice crop this year,” said John Lyman, executive vice president of Lyman Orchards. “We have three fields that are looking really good.”
Pick-your-own will be different to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus.
Lyman said they’re expanding the precautions in the Apple Barrel store to the fields, including cleaning, social distancing, and limiting capacity.
Customers will pay in advance for one of three container sizes and enter fields at specific locations. Staff members will be stationed in the fields to direct people and monitor crowds. Groups may be limited to four and fields may reach capacity on busy days.
Employees and customers are required to wear masks. Any customer that does not have a mask will be given one.
Lyman encouraged people to consider visiting during off-peak times.
“It’ll be different, but we think the experience can still be a very, very positive one,” Lyman said. He thinks picking may be even better than previous years, since people will be forced to spread out.
The orchards’ annual Strawberry Festival—normally mid-June— has been canceled due to the coronavirus.
Lyman Orchards’ golf centers are open, as well as outdoor dining.
“It is exciting to see the Lyman Farm with the outdoor dining opening up last week,” First Selectman Ed Bailey said.
Bailey pointed out outdoor dining is also available at Powder Ridge Ski Resort’s Fire on the Ridge restaurant.