It is still uncertain how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect business operations this fall, but Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm owner Wayne Bishop said they expect to open Sept. 12 for their 48th harvest season.
“We recognize that we are in a fluid situation,” said Bishop. “As everyone continues to learn about how to beat this virus, we will adjust our plan when appropriate.”
Bishop said it is important to note that the farm is a seasonal business and must follow retail and dining guidelines as opposed to festival or event venue orders.
“If you break our business down into pieces, we are largely a shopping and dining destination,” said Bishop. “Many of the activities on the farm such as the corn maze, sunflower stroll and pumpkin picking take place in the outdoors where distancing is not difficult.”
Bishop said the farm will be striving to relieve congestion in those areas upon opening and will likely be requiring all staff and guests to wear facial coverings.
There will also be additional hand washing and sanitizing stations, said Bishop, as well as regular sanitization of high touch surface areas.
“The health of our guests and employees is of the utmost importance and we will be following the recommended protocols for keeping everyone as safe as possible,” said Bishop.
In preparation for the upcoming harvest, Bishop said they have planted their normal amount of pumpkins this year, except for those meant for school field trips.
“We are assuming that we will not have the normal number of guests on school field trips but are hopeful that people will visit us on their own,” said Bishop.
At this time, Bishop said he has not considered the possibility of not being able to open this fall.
“We prepare all year for the fall season and, for now, we will continue as we normally would,” said Bishop.
According to Bishop, the farm applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan to help with losses and challenges related to the virus, but they are not aware of any programs that would help with the loss of a whole year’s income should they not be allowed to open.
As of now, Bishop’s is scheduled to be open from Sept. 12 though Nov. 9.