Villagers living in the vicinity of the Wagner Farmland Experience on Corrales Road, now in full swing, have noted almost no pandemic safe practices in place, with overflow parking, groups of more than five people, few masks, many lined up to buy tickets, and nothing close to social distancing. Each fall Wagner’s creates a corn maze, and invites visitors to pick out future jack-o-lanterns from their pumpkin patch.

New this season, a “Vegetable U-Pick,” featuring a variety of vegetables including different color bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and chile piquin. Farmland Experience is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through October 31. Admission is charged.

The Farmland Experience website states this in tiny print: “We are adhering to the CDC guidelines and NM Health department requirements to keep our fellow New Mexicans safe.” A separate tab on the website recommends social distancing and mask-wearing, and says that hand sanitizer is scattered around the field. Elsewhere on the site is posted “Please note that by visiting Wagner's Farmland Experience, LLC, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

The State of New Mexico’s website has detailed instructions on safe practices for agritourism events, including pumpkin patches and mazes. It says that “Access to attractions such as corn mazes shall be on a reservation-only basis and must be strictly monitored to maintain capacity and social distancing standards.” And it underscores contactless scanning of tickets, and plans in place to insure contact tracing. Agritourism info here.

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