Orchard: ‘We are not a playground,’ please supervise your children

Orchard: ‘We are not a playground,’ please supervise your children

YORK, SC (WBTV) - York County orchard says some bad apples have forced them to limit opening for apple picking - but they don't mean their fruit, they mean some children.

Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill posted on their Facebook page over the weekend that "severe damage" was done to the orchard's trees and farm equipment.

"We are not a playground for running, yelling, climbing trees, and chasing animals," they posted online.  "We are a sustainable farm with animals and trees that are here for a reason...please respect their work environment."

They "strongly encouraged" parents to closely supervise their children to avoid damage "to themselves and our farm."

They later posted that additional vandalism has been done the night after the original post. At that point, they decided to close down the orchard to the public.

"Unsupervised and destructive behavior by children or adults will not be tolerated," they posted.

"Sad that you even have to tell people to watch their children," one fan wrote. "But, I'm not surprised! We will be there to visit soon!!"

"As a parent and a fellow farmer, this post makes me so angry. Why do people think it's okay to allow their children to damage property, whether it's trees or tractors?" another fan wrote. "Put a leash on your children if you must. And if they can't behave like civilized people than keep them at home. Absolutely appalling."

Other parents took offense to the post and took aim at the orchard.

"I think it's time these owners hang up their hats. They have always been opposed to children yet they allow field trips by schools," one woman wrote. "I went years ago with my sons school and they are so snappy and rude. Looks like they are only worse. Kids are kids and while I agree kids should be supervised, there are other alternatives to picking apples guys. These people aren't kid friendly and seem to be just blaming children for their crop damage. Sorry but that's not what happened."

Wednesday, the orchard posted that after "some time spent thinking about how to best control the Apple Picking, we have decided to open the orchard again this Friday afternoon/evening."

"We feel that this is the best way to continue offering this Fall Family Tradition in a more controlled and sustainable manner," they continued. "Again, we ask that you do not treat this as a playground and respect the orchard, equipment, and animals."

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