Sunflower days at Eugster's Farm file

In addition to sunflowers, there were wagon rides and a petting zoo during Sunflower Days at Eugster’s Farm Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Many aspects of the Eugster’s operations this year were either altered or canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eugster’s Farm Market is wrapping up its fall season that ended the last day of October. Although it was an unusual season for the farm – with some of the usual attractions put on hold – they still see it as a success, Jacob Eugster, CFO of Eugster’s, told the Hub.

Despite COVID-19 adjustments, the farm was still able to have popular programs such as the outdoor petting zoo and fall bakery.

“Generally speaking, some things did well and other things not so much,” Eugster said.

Everything balanced itself out in terms of it being a normal year on the books, Eugster said. Produce sales were much higher this year, he added, and that helped even everything out as they weren’t able to have corporate parties, which usually brings in extra revenue.

In order to maintain a safe atmosphere for the season, the farm implemented health guidelines to keep their customers safe. There was a mask mandate for customers indoors, social distancing signs around the farm, a limited number of shoppers allowed in the farm market at one time and plexiglass barriers around the checkout stations to protect staff during transactions, according to the market’s website.

Eugster’s staff also had customers purchase tickets online for weekends to speed up the transaction time at the entrance and to limit large crowds.

Eugster said the changes were hard to adapt too but thought the community did a great job following the guidelines.

“It was a treat to hear that people were happy with our response,” he said. “I can’t thank everybody enough.”

The Screamin’Acres haunted barns and fields, one of the farm’s biggest attractions that pulls in hundreds of people a night, was canceled this year, which Eugster said was hard to give up. The biggest thing Eugster said he kept in mind when choosing to cancel the event was to keep the community safe. Looking back, Eugster said he was happy with his choice to hold off on the haunted house this year.

Eugster said the farm plans to open up again as planned on Sunday, Dec. 20, for its annual Christmas tree sale. The safety and health of staff and customers is still the top priority, Eugster added, and all safety precautions will stay in place until further notice.

“It will be business as usual, we are just going to keep everything in place and go from there,” he said.