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December 11, 2017
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Fall fun down on the farm; Lost in a corn maze

This is the aerial view of the 2013 Zembrzycki Corn Maze.
Contributed photo

By Lisa Denardo

As the cooler temperatures start to hit and the leaves start to change, we all know that fall is in the air. For some of us, this time of year may signify hay rides, pumpkins and hot apple cider. For some, it may mean it is time to find the closest corn maze for an annual corn maze adventure. If there is one certain way to adventure this fall, the corn maze would be it.

Corn mazes are like giant puzzles that you can walk through, complete with loops and dead ends to get you lost. From an aerial perspective, most corn mazes create an intricate design—something that, from down below, where the corn is much taller than you or I, one would never even know. Corn mazes can be accomplished by anyone with a sense of adventure. Both children and adults will love the experience of navigating, getting lost and finding their way again within the tall corridors of corn.

Nestled within the scenic terrain of northeastern Pennsylvania, in the small rural town of Herrick Center, you can find the Zembrzycki Dairy Farm, home to the Zembrzycki Corn Maze. The corn maze was started in 2009 by Brian Zembrzycki and his fiancée, Melissa, in an attempt to try something new and different for the family farm. “We had the land and grow the corn for the cows, so we figured we would try a corn maze one year, and it was a big hit,” said Melissa.

When it comes to the behind-the-scenes of making a corn maze, things get interesting. The very beginning of it all happens in the spring, when the corn is planted. Your average corn field gets planted in rows, either horizontally or vertically; however, when planting a corn maze, the corn gets planted both ways. This method takes a lot more time and effort, but in the end, it prevents you from being able to see through the rows within the corn maze.

Once the corn is about one foot tall, it is time for the Zembrzycki family to call out a corn maze professional to help create their maze. Professionals use state-of-the-art technology to geo-reference the cornfield and get the lay of the land. The image is integrated into a GPS system that acts much like a road map for the professional, who uses a lawnmower to create the maze. As the foot-tall corn gets mowed, it falls to the ground, creating a path that will mulch and break down into the dirt path that will wind throughout the corn maze. Integrity and accuracy, combined with highly advanced corn field cutting techniques is what brings the corn maze together, providing a one-of-a-kind seasonal adventure.