In a year when so many summer traditions have already been cancelled, fans of strawberries can rejoice: Paulridge Berry Farm will open next week.
The pick-your-own farm, which the Paul family has been growing berries from for 43 years, is located at 2115 Palace Rd. in Napanee.
In an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19, the farm will operate a bit different this year.
“From what we hear, people are getting anxious to do something outdoors,” said Ruth Paul, who owns the farm with her husband Philip. “We’ve done a lot of arranging things differently than in previous years, we have a lot of wash stations that we haven’t had before and sanitizers available for people.”
They’ve also added a fourth tractor to bring guests to and from the field and will be spacing guests in different rows when picking berries. Entering and exiting the property will be one-way to allow for physical distancing. As always they will have pre-picked berries available for purchase. Those wanting to pick their own can bring their own basket, however the size must be clearly labeled, as staff will be unable to weigh them once picked.
“This year we are not to handle their basket, so they have to bring a basket or bring something that is marked with the litres,” said Ruth.
Guests can also buy a basket on site for a dollar and then go to the field to pick their own.
Unfortunately some of the fun activities that guests have become accustomed to over the years, such as their on site playground or picnic tables won’t be open to the public.
“But if someone wants to sit under a tree and have a sandwich, we’re certainly not going to stop them,” added Ruth.
With help from their grandchildren-Luke and Finlay Paul as well as Olivia and Elliot Mundle, the Pauls hope to open by next Tuesday. They’ll run Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays. As always, they expected Canada Day to be their busiest of the season.
“I’ve walked the field and they look really nice this year, a lot of full rows,” said Elliot.
For up to date openings and a list of what is in season, visit www.PaulridgeBerryFarm.com or see their Facebook page.