Apple picking season changes to meet COVID-19 safety guidelines

And it’s not just apples that are drawing in crowds.

“Dude, I’m here for the peaches,” Kerrita Mayfield of Holyoke said. “I’m a southerner, I love the peaches. I’m going to walk through the orchard, but I’m getting peaches.”

Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield had to make some changes in order to meet the state’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Their store is open, but it’s one-way traffic and you’re required to wear a mask. Everyone must also stand six feet apart from one another and that goes for picking apples too.

Apple picking is one of those fall activities where you can easily social distance from others. And at Clarkdale, they just ask that you keep your mask on, which of course means you can’t sample the apples you pick.

Owner Ben Clark told 22News, why the sweetness of their fruit is actually higher because of the drought this summer.

“When the weather is dry, the sugars concentrate so you have a delicious flavor and they are still juicy, so they are just smaller in size,” Clark explained.

Clarkdale also had a good harvest for their first of the season’s apples. Your apple options include Cortland, Empire, Paula Red, and Ginger Gold.