Fall is here, which mean it’s not only hockey season, but corn maze season. Previously, we’ve featured corn mazes-- the highest of honors -- of Tim Thomas and the Chicago Blackhawks after their Stanley Cup victories.
This time around, the Minnesota Wild and Mario Lemieux are getting the honor at farms in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, respectively.
Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze opened last weekend, with 50 cents from each ticket sold going to the Minnesota Wild Foundation. When they hit 15,000 visitors, the donation will go up to $1. As part of the opening, they’ve created a corn maze featuring a giant Wild logo in it:
Bert Bouwman, owner of the Brooklyn Park farm, got the idea from his sports-loving wife, Molly. So how does one handle the task of creating such a giant attraction?
To turn the Mississippi River valley grounds into an annual draw for 20,000-25,000 people, Bouwman first sits down in his kitchen and draws up the maze on draft paper. He and his helpers then plant the entire field and wait for the corn seedlings to reach about 4 inches in length.
Once they're ready, Bouwman marks off the paths and negative logo space he wants cleared. With help from his family and farmhands, the baby corn stalks are pulled out of the ground and left to decompose into the sandy soil.
It's a tedious process that requires 27 miles of above-ground drip irrigation and long hours in the field. But the hustle and bustle once the festivities open make it well worth it for Bouwman, Molly and their six children.
At Irons Mill Farmstead, they’ve partnered with the Mario Lemieux Foundation to help raise funds for cancer research and patient care initiatives. The farm will donate $1 for every special discount coupon used by visitors.
To get an idea of just how massive the 10 acre corn maze is, the farm made a fly-over video, showing the logos of the farm, the Lemieux Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with a smiling headshot of Le Manifique:
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