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Sweet Native Connecticut Corn

Corn in Connecticut has a long and storied past dating back to the time of Native Americans and settlers; fast forward to present day and the hardy, diversified crop is more than just a nutrient prolific vegetable, but also a prevalent source for autumn entertainment in the Nutmeg state.

Corn, the most identifiable yellow vegetable in the field, is a year round mainstay in the diets of Americans, but here in Connecticut its so much more than that. It’s a fresh, farm grown, luscious summertime luxury that many look forward to and plan entire menus around; boiling it, grilling it, integrating it into chowders and other soups, or just adding it to a bean or traditional salad to make for a perfect back yard BBQ. Whether your preference is white silver, yellow or butter and sugar, all the fresh off the cob varieties are great sources of fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.

Usually the first vegetable kids eat without being coaxed, corn is delicious and its good for you! However, there are a variety of other uses for corn outside of human consumption; there’s cow corn, which can be used to feed livestock and decorative corn (to name a few) planted purely for the tall, statute stalks it yields. This is the corn mazes are made of.

The planning of a great corn maze takes a lot of work and dedication, but for corn maze enthusiasts it’s all worth it in the end, for the thrill of the maze, winding and turning, twisting and surprising. For those that create these fall works of agricultural art and interest, the corn maze craze has become an annual tradition and a great way to bring tourists and visitors to the state for more than just leave peeping.

In 1993, the first modern corn maze was created by Don Frantz and Adrian Fisher, who created the dinosaur maze for Lebanon Valley College. The maze was named the “Amazing Maize Maze”. It was the world’s largest maze and received accreditation in the Guinness Book of World Records. It subsequently sparked a worldwide fad of corn mazes and in 2014 Cool Patch Pumpkins and their 60 acre maze in Dixon, California stole the world record.

Corn mazes are a fun way to utilize agriculture for entertainment. Some are created to tell a stories or portray themes and others are inspired by art, books, movies or local icons. One such maze, that is known far in wide throughout Connecticut and beyond, maybe for its central location, but more probably because it offers more than just a maze, but the famed Apple Barrel farm store, pick your own apple and peach orchard, a plump pumpkin patch and perfect backdrop for the ideal New England Family afternoon, is the corn maze at Lyman Orchards, located in Middlefield Connecticut.

This maze celebrates Middletown native and reigning Nascar Champion Joey Lagano and his #22 car. Lagano is currently in first place in the 2019 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Season. His three-win 2018 campaign culminated in his first Cup Series title and the first driver championship for Ford Motor Company in 14 years.

The four acres of towering corn, with two acres of pathway and challenging designs, is a tribute to the home town winner, however this maze has more than just left turns (a bit of Nascar humor), its peppered with fun trivia questions along the way and “corn cops” to help guide visitors. Open through November 3, the maze is available for traipsing through on Wednesdays through Fridays, from 3 to 6 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10, $5 for ages four-12 and three and under are free. One dollar of every admission ticket is donated to the American Cancer Society. For more information call, (860) 349-1793, or visit http://lymanorchards.com/events/corn-maze/.

Some other fun mazes to visit in the state include:

The Plasko Farm Maze

The maze is 4.5 acres of corn fun for all ages with 1.5 miles of trail. Featuring a wild labyrinth of bewildering twists and turns through ten foot corn stalks. Each year the maze features a brand new innovative and interactive mystery to be solved. It’s an adventure that takes some teamwork and memory skills.

Location :670 Daniels Farm Road

Trumbull, CT

Open: September 20 – October 31 Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information call, (203) 268-2716 or go to https://plaskofarm.com/.

Hill Top Corn Maze

Featuring five acres of towering corn and over three miles of pathways, this maze has a new challenging design with fun trivia questions throughout to help visitors reach the end. A true labyrinth with no dead ends, this is a confusingly delightful experience.

Location: March Farm

160 Munger Lane

Bethlehem, CT 06751

Open: Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission: $8, children (2 and under) free.

For more information call (203) 266-7721 or visit https://marchfarm.com/family-fun/.

Foster Family Farm Maze

Day and night time maze fun for all ages!

Location: 90 Foster St.

South Windsor, CT 06074

Admission:  $12, seniors and college students (with valid ID) $11, children (4-12) $7, 3 and under free.

Open: Sept. 21-22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m, Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. & Sat. until 9:30 p.m. (bring a flashlight).

More information call, (860) 648-9366 or visit http://fosterfarm.com/.

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