Christmas may seem like a far off thought for some, but for local Christmas tree growers, the upcoming holiday season is top of mind.
The Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association is already making plans for the 2020 season with safe sales top of mind amid COVID-19.
"With Christmas tree farms you are out in the open but there's a lot of people that come especially on the first couple of weekends,” explained Kathy Kogut, executive director of the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association and local Christmas tree farmer. “They get crowds of people we have to be careful about gift shops and people coming in to gift shops."
One of the biggest challenges facing local tree farms is how to collect money safely.
"People are going to try to institute and implement some new policies and procedures as far as prepaying, taking only credit cards, having pay stations where there's plexiglass and people can drive through and pay on their way out,” said Kogurt. “All of this stuff is going to have to be a consideration."
Dick Jaynes from Broken Arrow Nursery has been growing Christmas trees for over 70 years and said with his 25 acres of land there is plenty of room for people to enjoy the holiday tradition at a safe, social distance, but plans to require face masks for both employees and visitors.
"Might have a scarf around your face anyway. So I don't that we have big anxiety about being able to deal with customers."
And with so many people missing out on recent holidays with loved ones, Christmas tree growers are expecting a big turn out at local farms as families reunite.
"They're going to want to have those same experiences and memories made at Christmas time to this year especially since so many families weren't together for a long time," Kogurt said.