Pumpkin patches preparing for fall activities amidst COVID 19 pandemic

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Fall is just around the corner and many are already out engaging in their favorite fall activities, but with COVID-19 still a concern, those activities this year will look a little different.

News Channel 11’s Kristen Gallant checked in with local pumpkin patches to see how they’re preparing for autumn.

People are already out enjoying fall festivities including finding the perfect pumpkin.

“We see how round it is,” said Kensley Taylor who was shopping for pumpkins with her parents and brother Gavin. “Like, we get small ones for me and him, and for my dad, it’s like large ones.” 

Kensley and Gavin said they love carving their pumpkins for Halloween and Laurel’s Pumpkin Barn has thousands of pumpkins from which to choose.

“We raise about 60 to 70 different varieties of pumpkins right here on our family farm,” said Chris Jordan, Co-owner of Laurel’s Pumpkin Barn.

Jordan said they were worried about how everyone was going to handle seasonal activities this year due to COVID-19.

Laurel’s Pumpkin Barn has signs posted all over the farm reminding people to stay 6 feet apart, and they have several hand sanitizing stations.

They are also requiring their employees to wear masks and request customers to do the same.

“We did sit through some webinars offered through the UT Extension services to kind of prepare us a little think about what we needed to do with measures with COVID-19,” said Jordan.

He said Monday through Thursday are the best days to come out to the pumpkin patches and corn maze if you’re concerned about being around other people because those are some of their slower days.

Jordan said they want all of their customers to know cleaning and sanitizing even applies to their pumpkins.

“Once we bring them out of the field we take them into our sheds, we store them in a dryer area, and then we wash every single pumpkin that comes into the barn,” Jordan explained. “We clean them real good, and then we put a little bleach water in there to disinfect them.”

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