Portage County berry farms gear up for season
By Taylor J. Hale
PORTAGE COUNTY – With temperatures on the rise, county residents are looking for outdoor activities to enjoy this summer as COVID-19 cancels a large portion of events.
Two local berry farms are gearing up to offer safe berry picking for Wisconsinites this summer. Arnold’s Strawberries in Rudolph and Sankey’s Berry Patch in Plover are planning for the start of the coming berry picking season, with social distancing in mind.
Both farms are slated to open up in mid to late June with social distancing guidelines and sanitation procedures in place.
“As far as COVID goes and its effects on the farm, really our changes are pretty minimum,” said Mike Arnold, Arnold’s Strawberries operations manager. “We will be implementing social distancing in our fields and at our checkout lines.”
Arnold’s will be utilizing an “every-other-row” method to help guests practice social distancing. The farm will also be using food-grade disinfectants when sanitizing tools and equipment to ensure the safety of visitors.
Both farms are working to provide a safe, sanitary environment for pickers to enjoy this summer.
“We are preparing with guidelines from the Department of Agriculture for COVID-19 to safely operate and interact,” a Sankey’s post read.
Luckily for berry-hungry locals, these two regional farms are eager to open their fields this summer.
Arnold hopes to see new and familiar faces this season, even if that means staying six feet apart.
“It’s truly an unfortunate event, but having families being able to come out to continue their normal traditions in a safe manner means a lot to people,” Arnold closed.
To learn more about Arnold’s Strawberries, www.arnoldsstrawberries.com; for more on Sankey’s, visit www.facebook.com/Sankeys-Berry-Patch-195965280455533.