PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The fall harvest season is here but it is taking on a little different look this year on the farms in our region.
Oh, the crops are the same and have weathered the rain pretty well.READ MORE: 'The Working Group' Spent Months Creating Tree Of Life Commemoration Ceremony In Pittsburgh
Adam Voll at Soergels in Wexford says the corn is sweet.
“We’re still planning on having it up to about the beginning of October, if all goes right, maybe even a little bit further depending on the weather,” he says.
And there at Trax Farm in Finleyville, the tomatoes are still coming off the vine.
“Probably pick tomatoes, almost all the way up through halfway through October,” Ross Trax says.
While the rain has been plentiful, or as Ross says, “a nuisance.”
“It’s limiting us when we can be in the field,” he says.
Except for some rot in a few pumpkins, just a few, Adam Voll says at Soergels, “the plants and stuff don’t necessarily look as pretty as they did before, but the fruit and stuff on them are looking, looking real nice.”
So let the fall fun being!
Trax is kicking it off with what Ross calls “Flannels and Flames.”
“They’ll take a hayride to the top of our, our hayride hill there, we’ll have some bonfires go and live music,” Ross explains. “A couple of food trucks up there, too.”
In fact, food trucks will be a constant through the fall festival at Trax that officially begins September 24th.
“We got axe throwers, we have a train for kids, climbing walls, [and] bungee jumps,” Ross says.READ MORE: The Aztecs 'Slowly Crush You': CBS Sports' Randy Cross Previews Fresno State-#21 San Diego State, Other Matchups
“We are offering apple and pumpkin picking only,” Amy Foster at Soergels says will happen this weekend.
But next weekend…”We’re bringing back our tractor rides. We have the corn maze ready this year on so we’ll have that available. Our farm animals will be on-site and also tiny town will be open this year we’ve closed that in the past our little activity area for the kids will be open as well.”
WATCH: Safety Precautions In Place This Fall
But COVID is having an impact on both farms.
The horse-drawn wagon rides are going to stay in the barn at Soergels again this year but the tractor-pulled rides to the pumpkin patch are back.
“We are requiring masks on the tractor rides, so while wearing masks will not be required outside, on the tractor rides we are asking that everybody wear a mask,” Amy says.
She says if you don’t feel comfortable with the ride on the wagon, the pumpkin patch and apple orchards are easy walks.
And at the Soergels market store, Amy says…“We will still take precaution to keep limited numbers inside because that is our most busy time we’ll be aware of that.”
Trax is taking similar precautions.
For instance, its hayride used to sit 30. Ross says they set up the wagon with “a row of bales down either side and we used to do a center, center row of bales to put people on last year we eliminated that, that center row there, so we put approximately 20 people on a hayride.”
And so there is not a crush of people…“We went online ticket sales for hayrides, and we sell a certain number per hour, which allows us to limit the crowds at any one given time.”
Also because of COVID, the farms are expanding some of their more popular offerings beyond the weekend to further spread out the crowds.MORE NEWS: Child Psychology Experts Give Advice To Parents On How To Talk To Kids About COVID-19 Vaccines
So whatever farm you are going to whether it is Soergels, or Trax, or another in the region you might want to check their website in advance to make sure what they are offering and if you need to preregister for your family’s annual trek to the pumpkin patch.