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Eckert's will reopen for its pick-your-own season — but there's a catch

In addition to making a reservation, guests also will be required to check-in before entering the fields
Credit: SLBJ

BELLEVILLE, Ill — Belleville, Illinois-based Eckert's Farm will reopen its popular pick-your-own season for summer crops — but you'll have to make a reservation ahead of time.

Reservations at both the Belleville and Grafton, Illinois, farms are currently open through Sunday, July 19.

"We tested out our protocol for our pick-your-own seasons with strawberries in May, and we had a great response from our guests," vice president of retail operations, Angie Eckert, said in a statement. "With those safe, effective practices in place, we have a new way of operating for pick-your-own season this year at our farms. Although the process may be a little different, we are looking forward to delivering family memories for all of our guests on the farms."

The Belleville farm will have blackberries available for picking beginning Wednesday. Peaches and vegetables will be available mid-July. The Grafton farm will open for blackberry and peach picking July 17. Vegetables include squash, tomatoes, beets, corn, kale, peppers, turnips and onions.

In addition to making a reservation, guests also will be required to check-in before entering the fields. The number of attendees will be limited during each time slot to ensure proper social distancing guidelines, officials said. Guests are asked to wear masks and hand-washing stations will be provides before entering the fields. In addition, Eckert's staff members will wear masks.

The pick-your-own experience will be closed every Monday for field maintenance.

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