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Linvilla Orchards farmers in Delaware County rely on water, shade and rest to stay safe during heat wave

How Linvilla Orchards farmers beat the heat wave with water, shade, and rest
How Linvilla Orchards farmers beat the heat wave with water, shade, and rest 02:00

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- Safety is a top priority when it comes to working out in the fields amid the heat wave.

Steve Griffith is among eight farmers at Linvilla Orchards making changes in response to the soaring temperatures. He comes to work earlier, stays later and takes a long break around noon to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.

"It's really important because you don't want to risk getting any heat stroke or just dehydration or sun poisoning or just sunburn in general," Griffith said.

Farm manager Norm Schultz encourages employees to stay hydrated. While the heat helps the plants flourish, the lack of rain puts the crops at risk.

"We can go three weeks without rain, which is about where we're at," Schultz said. "But right now, a lot of the plants, the potatoes and tomatoes especially are setting fruit, so we want to get water on them."

Schultz said farmers are irrigating to keep the fields from drying out. The intense heat is affecting the farm in other ways. The pick-your-own fruit section might close down for a few hours each day.

"We'll definitely open every morning till about noon," Schultz said. "Maybe we'll close at noon or 1 o'clock. So watch our website and if you bought tickets, we'll send you an alert."

Despite the heat wave, some customers like Katy Corey from Claymont, Delaware, still came out to pick blueberries.

"It's really warm," said Corey. "Probably a little bit oppressive. But the breeze is nice, there's a little bit of cloud cover. That's helping us not melt."

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