People are getting lost in Meredith and they are happy about it according to John Moulton of Moulton Farm.
“People still enjoy getting lost in a corn maze despite the fascination with GPS devices and smart phones,” says Moulton when speaking about the Meredith farm’s four acre corn maze. Officially opening Saturday, Sept. 8, it is the 12th year the farm has planted and created a disorienting corn maze for people to enjoy.
Moulton notes that creation of the maze actually begins months before the opening with the careful preparation and planting of four acres of cattle corn. Each row of corn represents a line on a piece of graph paper, so “it’s not the day to have your mind on something else when you’re planting,” explains Moulton. This year’s maze was the responsibility of Wesley Thomas who has been working at the farm since 1999 when he was in high school. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, Thomas joined the farm team as a full time employee. This year marks the fifth year he’s been responsible for planting, designing and creating the maze.
Two intensive days of work and 20 pieces of graph paper taped together go into creating the maze design on paper. “When I design the maze I think of two things: how it will look from the air and how to make it challenging for our visitors,” Thomas explains.
“Last year we wanted the maze to spell out ‘no farms, no food’ so it limited what I could do. This year will be different” he says with a mischievous smile. “This year I did a three dimensional tractor design with more of a labyrinth feel – lots of dead ends, repeats and overlapping paths.”
Once the design is drawn, Thomas and coworkers head into the four acre field with a large weed whacker, the graphed design, and patience. With the corn less than a foot high, each corn stalk must be counted before one is cut. “It’s counting the corn stalks that lets us know where we are on the design and in the field. If we count wrong, it’s definitely an “oops” moment,” he laughs. “I’ve been designing the mazes for the past five years and this is the first year that we’ve cut the design perfectly.” It usually takes two or three people about two days to cut the maze. Once the maze is cut, there is still work to do. As the corn grows to 12 to 15 feet high, tractors are used to prepare the paths within the maze for walking.
Admission to the corn maze is $5 per person with a special $3 rate for each child 6 and under. The special rate for young children also includes access to a mini maze designed for little explorers. The last admission is one hour before the farm closes to allow for explorers to enjoy getting lost and playing the trivia game that is part of the maze. For more information about this year’s maze visit moultonfarm.com/corn-maze
. Pictures of past corn mazes can be found on the farm’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/MoultonFarm.
Moulton Farm is at 18 Quarry Road, off Route 25, in Meredith.