Thistleberry Farms uses some new technology to create some classic fun

By: Frank Waugh Email
By: Frank Waugh Email

This weekend, Thistleberry Farms opens up their Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze to the public.

While corn mazes have become staples at many area patches across the country, have you ever thought about how they are made?

In Tuesday's Just Before Six Report how the farm is bringing a high tech approach to make some old fashioned fun.

“It was about 8 years ago was our first one,” says Dave Frushour of Thistleberry Farms. “It was much smaller than what we are doing know, it was about 5 acres. We were already selling pumpkins so we thought we would add a corn maze and see how it goes.”

While the first corn maze was a hit with visitors, Dave admits it was fairly simple.

“The first year we didn't want to put a whole lot of money into it, because we were just trying it out,” says Frushour. “So we designed it. It was lots of right turns and left turns not a lot of curves, it was all based on drive ten rows in. Then I would have someone go in front of me and count the rows and then we would drive to that point and then we would make a turn, and it was all based on a big grid and that is how we cut it.”

Now the designs are more complicated, thanks to advances in technology.

“Now it is all done with a GPS, we go around the cornfield and get the circumference of it and then we design the maze on the computer and that gets translated into GPS coordinates,” explains Frushour.

Armed with a zero turn mower, a lap top and GPS receiver, Dave heads into the field, blind.

“When I am driving through the corn field I am not really looking around at anything else, I am just looking at the screen so it looks a little crazy when you are out there because you are not looking around it is just a guy staring at a computer screen, just following the paths,” says Frushour.

After 20 hours of cutting this is the end result. Four different mazes cut into 16 acres of corn, each with a theme.

“Every year we have a different theme for it, this year it is going to be a super hero theme,” says Frushour. The corn mazes, the bigger corn mazes, it is not just trying to make it through the maze, but we also incorporate the theme in. As you are going through the maze you are trying to find things, in this case it might be you are trying to find things in the maze you get new super hero powers.”

Past themes have included the Wild Wild West, Lost in Space and Pirates of the Cornibbean. And despite all the work that it takes to put together aerial works of art, Dave says it worth it.

“If it wasn't for the kids it wouldn't be worth all the work but in October when you are out there and there are kids out there laughing and running around having a lot of fun that is when it pays off and you get geared up for the next year,” explains Frushour.

To go through the corn mazes it will cost you $8. Maze goers can even attempt it at night.

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