Summer is over—so get outside for some family-friendly activities in this gorgeous fall weather. Have you tried Fairview Farm at Mecox? There are freshly picked pumpkins, apples and other produce. If you’re looking for something tasty to eat, they also have homemade pies, apple cider, apple cider donuts, roasted corn, ribbon fries, the famous Mecox Bay Dairy cheeses, a corn cannon, etc., etc. But there’s also The Maize—two miles of carefully cut paths into more than eight acres of cornfield for you to get lost and found in. That means family fun!
If the mere thought of getting stuck in a maze of eight-foot–tall corn stalks tightens your chest, don’t worry. Before entering, the friendly staff will supply you with one of about a dozen selections of multiple choice trivia quiz cards to help guide you through. Throughout The Maize, a series of numbered posts correspond to a question on each card. Next to each answer is a direction—left or right. Card topics include, but are not limited to, History/Military, Sports, Movies, Music and TV and, a recommended back–up, Tiny Tots. The Tots cards offer foolproof softball questions such as “Which of the following crop does popcorn come from?” Hint: the answer is not waffles or yellow.
The aerial view of The Maize, is, well, “amaizing.” According to Harry Ludlow, owner of the farm, The Maize is created “similar to the way an artist transfers a photograph to a canvas: Divide it into a grid and do one section at a time. For creating The Maize, that means a lot of careful measuring.” The Maize, now in its 17th year, also features two bridges, which give maze-goers a sweeping 360° view over the top of the stalks.
“We diverged from our traditional style this year,” Ludlow says of this year’s design. “We had always focused on a theme associated with either our family, our farm, or our community.” This year, however, they wanted to make it more educational and decided on a tribute to Luther Burbank. “It turns out that most people younger than us did not learn about Luther Burbank in school like I did, and hence know little if anything about him. This is an opportunity for the public to become more knowledgeable about a man that influenced many crops both in his day and currently.”
A quick internet search of Burbank proves he was indeed “The Plant Wizard.” “More than 800 species are credited to him,” Ludlow explains. “Life would be different for all of us if it were not for his life.” Burbank was a famed California horticulturalist whose goal, according to the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Association in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California, “was to increase the world’s food supply by manipulating the characteristics of plants.” Possibly his crowning achievement in this regard was his accidental discovery of what became the Russet potato, used in everything from french fries to mashed potatoes. He also used breeding and cross pollination to create, among other wonders, the Shasta Daisy, the plumcot (half plum, half apricot, all delicious), the pomato (potato, tomato) and the “miraculous” stoneless plum. Now you know. Visit lutherburbank.org for more.
Note that if you’re travelling The Maize with a two-year-old, you might find yourself answering the following questions over and over: “Where corn maze?” and “What corn?” while constantly agreeing that, yes, corn is yellow. You know, family fun.
For more on Fairview Farm at Mecox, located at 19 Horsemill Lane in Bridgehampton, visit fairviewfarmatmecox.com or call 631-537-6154. The Maize is open Thursday–Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., through November 12.