With so many of the things we look forward to being taken away in 2020, everyone is chopping at the bit to get outside and do something fun. That something? Fall festivities such as apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes. Barring a severe shift in the public health pandemic, autumn agritourism destinations are positioned to have a mammoth year as folks look for things to do.
Don Schuster, owner of Schuster’s Farm in Deerefield, says that he believes this fall could go either way for people like him that rely on Wisconsinites looking for fall fun. “I hope we make it to November 1st, with all this stuff going on and all the capital we’ve stuck into it…if somebody makes a mistake and the virus hits we could be shut down,” he says. “If we don’t get shut down I think it’s going to be banner year. People are looking for things to do and they’re bored and ready to get out and about.”
The Schuster family’s operation includes everything from u-pick pumpkin patches to a corn maze to a haunted forest. Schuster says that if social media activity is any indication on the season that lies ahead, he feels pretty good about things. For example, the Facebook page for his haunted forest normally receives a few thousand impressions each year. This year it has received around 50,000 impressions with people reaching out from neighboring states asking if they will be open.
Schuster, a 26-year veteran of the agritourism industry, admits that they didn’t know what exactly to do as Fall got closer. For a little bit the family pondered whether or not to take the year off and just come back in 2021. But, Don admits that that was never all too likely.
Safety precautions are being taken such as some online ticket sales for the haunted forest, plexiglass barriers between guests and employees, and limiting the number of people on one wagon when going to pick pumpkins. But, at the end of the day, Schuster just asks that visitors use common sense and hopes that everything goes smoothly so a “banner year” can take place. For all of the latest up to date information on Schuster’s Farm specifically, you can visit their website by clicking right here.