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Wilson’s Orchard opens for early season, adds strawberry crops

Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 6:01 PM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) -

Wilson’s Orchard in Johnson County is now open a little earlier in the year than usual. That’s because the orchard had expanded beyond its apples and cider, by adding strawberries.

This is the first season the orchard has added berries, enabling them to open for customers earlier in the season. Owner Paul Rach said adding strawberries to their over 80 acres adds more diverse products to their shop, liked baked goods and strawberry slushies. While the new crop also brings in more business, Rach says concerns related to the pandemic still exist. He said they assign people to certain rows of the strawberry fields during picking to enable distancing. Rach said the benefit of being an outdoor venue should also help customers feel comfortable to spread out and stay safe.

Wilson’s Orchard also produces hard cider. Rach said that part of their business, along with their restaurant took a big hit because of closures related to Covid-19. He said they are excited to open earlier in the season and welcome more people to the orchard. “This a big part of our push moving forward if we want to be open for a wider swath of the year. Typically we are only open August, September, October for apples, but now with strawberries we are going to open in June and stay open until holiday season,” he said.

Rach said the orchard will also add and plant raspberries for later in the year.

Wilson’s Orchard is now open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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