By James Niedzinski
---- — LONDONDERRY — Elwood Orchards of Londonderry and J&F Farm of Derry invite residents to get lost once again in their corn mazes.
Elwood Orchards boasts a bigger maze this year, stretching two or three miles over 12 acres of land. Their corn stands about 12 feet high. Last year, their corn stalks were about 15 feet tall and occupied 10 acres of land.
“The heat has been a big problem recently,” farm manager Wayne Elwood said. “Last year, we had to pump in 80,000 gallons of water, and we almost had to this year as well.”
But the rain came in time and Elwood did not have to bring in outside water.
Elwood Orchards at 54 Elwood Road opened the maze Sept. 1. It’s open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The maze will be open for night walks as well, starting Sept. 29 from 6 to 10 p.m. People should bring their own flashlights.
The corn maze is planned out on graph paper by Elwood and his son each winter. After he corn is planted, the path is cut when the corn reaches about 6 inches, Elwood said.
In Derry, J&F Farm opened its corn maze a bit earlier, toward the end of August. The corn stands about 12 feet tall, and the mile-long trial winds through about 5 acres of farm land.
“We fell a little behind in July due to heat and drought, but we caught up fairly quickly,” manager Melissa Dolloff said.
Both farms plant their corn in horizontal and vertical rows, creating a pattern so people cannot see through the rows of corn.
J&F Farm employees carve the path out with a weed-whacker once the corn grows to about 18 inches, Dolloff said.
The J&F corn maze, located at 120 Chester Road, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.