CHICO, Calif. - While the coronavirus pandemic has canceled many summertime traditions, one will continue this week—only with a different look.
Chico State will be opening its University Farm this week for U-Pick Peaches, an annual opportunity for the public to harvest fresh peaches. However, this year will be slightly different due to the pandemic.
Chico State and the University Farm ask that visitors follow a few important guidelines to ensure a smooth and safe experience:
- Follow all signs and staff instructions
- Remain in your vehicle while waiting, receiving and paying for your peaches
- Anyone feeling ill should stay home
- Vulnerable (high-risk) individuals should continue to follow the state’s Stay-at-Home Order
- Wear face coverings
- Maintain good hygiene by washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and covering coughs and sneezes
- Depending upon peach supply and demand, sales may continue into the week of Aug. 10.
Instead of picking your own peaches, the University Farm is offering a socially distanced drive-through peach sale. The university says ripe peaches will be picked early each morning by farm staff wearing masks and gloves.
“We have an incredible crop of beautiful Fay Elberta peaches this year,” University Farm Administrator Dave Daley said, “and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests, we came up with our drive-through concept that allows us to continue to provide the fresh-picked local fruit that has become such a summertime tradition in our community.”
The Fay Elberta peach, a longtime favorite at University Farm, is a large, yellow-skinned freestone with a little red blush, has fairly good shape and nice flavor and is a popular variety for canning.
The University Farm’s COVID-19-safe drive-thru peach sales will run Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, or until supplies run out. The peaches will be gently boxed in flats, each weighing approximately 10 pounds, and sold by the flat for $25 each using exact change, credit cards, or checks made out to “Chico State University Farm.”
The University Farm is located at 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane south of Chico. Follow the signs to the drive-through peach sales, which will take place in the main parking lot next to the Pavilion. University Farm reps say guests are asked to remain in their cars, and a staff member will bring the peaches to the car.
If you would like an update before heading over, contact the Peach Hotline at 530-898-4989.