Planning & Planting Our Corn Maze
Some rain is exactly what we need for our freshly planted corn field. You will be a-maize-d by what it takes to have a tall green corn maze ready for you to explore when we open in August.
We start brainstorming ideas for the maize in winter believe it or not. Megan Hurd has been designing our corn maze for years. This year she chose an apple design with our new weekend blog theme Family Friends & FUN. 1st she sketches it on plain paper for the family to OK, and then she redraws it on graph paper. The graph paper version is when Megan converts her sketch to a real maze that you will walk through this fall.
Before we can put the seed in the ground we have to get the field ready. This is a 2 step process. First we use a large mower to chop the old maze up. Then we disc the field to loosen the soil. This year we did this on May 29th.
Local long time corn farmer Tom has been planting our corn maze for years. This involves a specialized piece of equipment that makes a trench, drops the seed and fertilizer. Tom cross plants the field which means he actually plants the field twice. He runs in straight lines from the road to the woods. Then rotates 90 degrees and runs straight lines between the rows of apple trees. It takes him a few hours to plant our corn maze. This year he came by on the afternoon of May 30th.
After the corn is planted, but has not sprouted we get ready for the maize design. We need to create a grid on the field, in a way we are making a gigantic piece of graph paper like Megan used for her maze design. To complete this process we use marking flags, measuring tape, and the Pythagorean 3, 4, 5 triple to keep it square. If you look closely at the picture below you can see a row of pink flags. It takes a day or so to do this which we completed on June 4th.
Senior farmer Phil Hurd checks the grid and creates an optimal path in Megan's design. Sometimes he switches a few paths to make the maze as long and complicated as he can. Not to worry though, there is a mini animal track maze within the big one if you want something a bit less challenging. Phil got feedback from the team on his path on June 5th this year.
Phil hands the latest design copy to Bird who has been laying out our maze for years. He has a strong spacial ability that helps him take a hand held design and transfer it onto the field. He uses lime on the ground so we can walk the maze path. The grid helps him do this just like those fun drawing games you did when you were a kid. He completed the lime drawing this year on June 11th.
Once Susan and Phil give the final OK, we use the lime as a guide for what corn stays and what corn goes. Depending on the weather we may need to irrigate the field. It will take about 2 months for the corn to reach full height. Weather depending the corn stalks will last right through the end of October. The photos below show our corn maze from Summer through November.
You can purchase your activity wristbands and apple picking bags before you come to the farm. If you would like them mailed home purchase before August 4th. Or you can preorder your wristbands and apple picking bags and we will have them ready for you at the customer service counter.