One of the crazes this fall, like the last several falls, has been for local niche farm marketers to offer corn mazes as part of the attraction to get visitors to come to their farm. Some are haunted, some are not. Some have designs cut into them that were made using GPS coordinates and a tiller or lawn mower. Others are just a series of paths leading through the field.
The comment of the week came from one patron visiting Apple Works, a niche farm operated by Sarah Brown and family in southern Johnson County. While the pumpkin u-pick patch was a much bigger draw then the corn maze, it was there for those who wanted to venture in.
Walking along the maze on the outside on the way to the pumpkin patch, one farm girl observed, "The scariest thing in that maze is the corn itself!"
Wow! She hit it on the head. Spindly stalks and spindly ears made it look like a crop that might make 10 to 20 bushels per acre. It was only four feet tall, so it would be kind of hard for a six-foot person like me not to see their way out of the maze pretty quickly.
Tuttle Orchards near Greenfield offers a maze, but it's not haunted. They pick a theme, and try to educate youngsters who go through the maze by having questions at various stops. This year's theme was on sunflowers. Those who got the answers right received a small candy prize at the end as part of the experience.
Amy Kelsay and Kelsay Farms have included a corn maze as part of the experience of visiting their farm near Whiteland since they entered the agri-tourism venue several years ago. They make a point of telling people that their maze is not haunted. It's designed more for families and young children to have fun in the maze.