The number one question we get every fall is, "How do you make an 18 acre corn maze?".
It's a long process that starts every year in January. We think up a theme that we like that is also NOT copyrighted. Then I start sketching it out.
The sketch then gets drawn in in an illustrator program on the computer. After a few revisions we'll get the final draft that becomes our maze. We work with a company that will take our creation, "maze it out" and upload it to the GPS program we use to mow the design into the field.
We plant our corn at the end of May. Usually farmers plant their corn in only one direction. In making a corn maze, we have to plant ours in two directions with the rows perpendicular to each other.
When the corn is up about a foot to two, we connect our computer stand to our zero turn lawn mower.
We hook up our tough book to our GPS unit.
The GPS antenna is in a pocket on top of my hat. That's how the satellites track my position in the corn maze.
Then I mow all day...
and into the night.
I can see where I am by following the red lines on the display. The blue lines show where I've already been.
It takes about 40 hours to mow the maze (unless I throw a belt or need any other repairs to the lawnmower). I need to mow the maze relatively quickly because the satellites change position (slightly) every day.
Once I'm finished, we take the drone up to see if there is anything I've missed or any other changes that need to be made.
The growing point of the corn is below soil level, so it likes to keep growing. Weeds also pop up anywhere the sun reaches. Every couple of weeks throughout the summer, I go in and mow down the corn & weeds.
We go through both corn mazes and machete any overhanging leaves on both sides of the path. A corn leaf cut is way worse than a paper cut, so we like to keep the paths clear.
We mow it one more time, then install all of the checkpoints and various signs.
Then we open for the season!
Then after the season is over, we go back in and pull out all of the signs.
Finally, we harvest the corn at half speed (remember - it's planted in both directions) and start thinking about the design for the next year