We started September so unsure, but October and November were so much fun.
In the barn and on the farm, we enjoyed the company of so many of you. We were so truly happy to see everyone, the weather was beautiful, and we had the best time with our farm guests.
Behind the scenes, we were a mixed bag of caramel apple nuts.
Throughout most of October, we struggled with weird supply chain issues caused by COVID. On one weekend, we were just an hour away from running out of donut mix and our chinny-chin-chins were saved by Kyle's quick thinking and negotiating. One donut disaster we weren't unable to avoid was running out of half-dozen containers, but we eeked through that mess with a combination of bags and people's willingness to splurge on double the donuts they originally planned for.
If at one point you received your food on paper plates rather than our customary paper boats, that wasn't planned. It was a frantic trip down to Dubuque to buy up as many paper products as possible when we found out we were unable to get paper boats shipped in time for the weekend.
And Kyle worked some kind of Internet miracle when he shipped in a huge shipload of caramel so we didn't run out before our local supplier was able to restock. For a few hours there, we were looking at some fall days without caramel apples, but Kyle's persistence saved us from that sad, sugarless fate.
In addition to product problem solving, we constantly had to be on our feet for our employees. Being open during COVID was a heavy decision for us, and we are so glad we decided to go forward, but we didn't do it lightly. One of the most important things for us was to keep both our guests and our staff safe, so we established norms that we felt applied to us and adapted as the season went on.
We also spent quite a bit of time with employee musical chairs, as sometimes staff couldn't make it or some of them had to go into quarantine for potential exposure. We switched a lot of people around, we ran short staffed many days, and we did our best to keep up with everything while keeping our employees' safety paramount.
And truly, we have to say: We have such great staff. They worked hard, for us and for you, this fall. They adapted quickly to the changes that came at them, they accepted things out of our control, and - I know this always sounds so trite, but it's also so true - they did it all with a smile. We absolutely love fall, and although this fall was different from many of the ones prior, we loved it. And we love our employees. They are the cream of the crop, the best thing since sliced bread, the silver lining, the nail on the head, and although Elvis has left the building on our fall season, our employees remain the pick of the litter.
And you heard that straight from the horse's mouth. :)
Thank you for this fall season, everyone. It was wonderful.
Fun on the farm...in blog form!