By Nat Wexler | Photo by Lauren Harrigan
As summer turns into fall, some of the corn that has spent all summer growing gets to express its creative side: as a pixel in the picture known as a corn maze. One of the area’s most prominent and artful corn mazes can be found at Pearce’s Farm Stand, located in Walworth. Pearce’s Farm Stand has been a staple in the area for generations, selling fruits, vegetables, baked goods, popcorn and jams, among other treats. But Pearce’s doesn’t just sell their locally beloved, homegrown corn; they also use it as the building blocks for their popular corn maze.
Bob Pearce Jr. came up with the idea for a corn maze roughly a decade ago when the family was looking for an extra attraction to add to the farm. Before that, they had added a haunted house in the fall that featured a haunted hayride going through a smaller corn maze. The haunted hayride was eventually moved to a wooded area, and the current iteration of the corn maze was born.
Before the maze can take shape, corn is planted in the spring on a mathematical grid system. Once the design is mapped out, an outside company is hired to indicate which plants need to be removed in order to bring the design to life, like a sculptor working with the medium of growing corn. Past designs have included a corn portrait of the founders of Pearce’s Farm Stand, a nod to the Alice in Dairyland competition and a Culver’s-themed maze, among others. Pearce says that this year, the maze will feature Ford cars.
The timing of the maze being open is unique to each growing season, but usually happens at the end of August or the beginning of September and runs until Halloween. For the corn maze’s exact dates and pricing, along with more information about fall festivals at Pearce’s, visit their website or check their Facebook page.