Unlike many event spaces that had to shut down, either partially or fully, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Jordan’s Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard saw a rise in new customers in 2020 that it’s hoping to make permanent.

“We were outdoors, so you were safer with that,” explained Cody Cook, who works at the orchard, which his parents run. “Especially last year we had a wide variety of people.”

As the orchard revs up to its u-pick season beginning Aug. 13, it’s been open Fridays and Saturdays for pizza, cider and baked goods. The 350 acres of apples trees have been dry this year due to the drought, with some trees producing plenty of apples while its neighbors’ branches are bare.

“It’s going to be a lower year,” Cook said, with smaller apples, too. “We’re just hoping for rain right now.”

The apples aren’t only there for eating, though. An apple gun — similar to a potato gun, for those familiar — is a popular attraction for parents and older teens, Cook said.

“The dads will get a bourbon cider and shoot some apples while everyone else is picking them,” he said.

There are also several fields of sunflowers, which are a popular photography spot for visitors. The fields were planted at a staggered rate throughout the spring so there’s always an area in full bloom, Cook said.

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store is also part of an apple orchard, at 20430 Johnson Memorial Drive, and is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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