Fall is settling in all around us. Temperatures are cooling down and leaves are getting the memo that it’s time to change. We all rush out in droves, clamoring for outdoor activities that keep us in this crisp air and fresh weather.
From pumpkin patches to foliage tours, apple picking to hay rides, here in the South, we’re all about fall.
One special fall feature you’ll find throughout the country are corn mazes. This family-friendly activity is a seasonal adventure that really heralds in the cooler temps. But, this year, instead of making your way through a maze of corn, consider a hemp maze.
What’s a corn maze?
A corn maze is exactly what you’d think it would be, a maze made in a corn field. The stalks are just the right height to make perfect walls, but the fun is in the design. Many corn mazes get laid out to look like popular characters from cartoons, a logo, or familiar symbol. You’ll find intricate designs and varying levels of difficulty. The big picture becomes obvious when looked at from above.
The first corn maze appeared in Pennsylvania in 1993, so these tourist attractions are relatively new. Today, you’ll find most on a larger farm offering a variety of other attractions like a petting zoo, apple launcher, country store, and more.
Corn mazes usually last from late September though the first week of November when the stalks get cut down. The corn typically gets harvested before creating the maze.
How are they made?
Once a design gets selected, the image gets superimposed onto the chosen crop using GPS. This information allows the designers to mark the field. They then create the path using common farming equipment like a rototill.
At some farms, where they already know they’re going to make a corn maze before they plant, farmers will cut the path for the maze early on, only allowing the corn stalks making up the sides to grow to full height. This makes it faster and easier to establish the paths.
Why does hemp work as a replacement?
The similarities between the corn stalk and the hemp stalk make it a natural substitution when it comes to crop-wide mazes. Not only that, but hemp is a more environmentally friendly plant than corn. It can trap carbon dioxide from the air, requires less nutrients and water to thrive, and oxygenates the soil as it grows.
As far as plant height compares, corn gets between 5-12 feet tall. Industrialized hemp grows between 5-15 feet.
Both plants produce stalks that are thick and strong to keep the plants upright, but you can plant industrialized hemp much closer together. This helps create denser walls in your maze not to mention gives you a higher plant-per-acre yield.
Where can I find a hemp maze?
Also taking the title as the first state to offer a hemp maze, you’ll find one in Pennsylvania. Created on Cedar Meadow Farm, in Holtwood, this 4-acre hemp maze uses industrial hemp stalks to set its boundaries.
The hope is this hemp maze, while providing fun for all, will also educate the public on the benefits of hemp, proving it’s not a crop to fear. Education stations throughout the maze will talk about the versatility of hemp and its positive contributions to the environment.
For this particular hemp maze, the shape mirrors the farm’s logo for their own CBD products. This happens to be a stylized version of Grizzly, the dog.
At the end of season, the hemp will get cut, ret, and baled before going off to a processor. No plant material gets wasted.
Let’s not waste hemp
Hemp is one of the most versatile plants out there, so you should always use as much of it as possible when harvesting. You may think the sweet spot is the flower, but the rest of the plant has almost unlimited potential when you look at products it can make.
Even if some of your plants serve as a hemp maze before harvesting, they’re still good to use. Not only that, but you’ve found one other way to let your hemp crop make you some money.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your hemp crop, partner with the industry experts at Arbor Vita8. Our services and resources are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more.