Having an ‘a-maze-ing’ time

MINNEOTA – Wind rustled the corn stalks in a field in Minneota Saturday afternoon as the sound of kids happily weaving through cut paths filled the air.

Earlier this fall, the Minneota FFA organization created a community corn maze for both children and adults from around the area. The design of the maze includes a barn, a silo and the word “FFA.”

Several members of FFA group helped with the project, which involved drawing the design and using a GPS with points and flags to know where to cut.

“We did it on two Saturdays and a couple of times after school,” FFA member Jordan Moorse said.

It was a lot of work, said FFA member Grady Moorse, adding that the FFA members used a weed whacker to clear the corn to create the maze. Jordan Moorse said that she was so tired after one afternoon of cutting that she ended up taking a nap on a pile of corn.

“We all had to carry it (the corn) out of the field by hand,” Jordan Moorse said.

Jordan Moorse said their former FFA adviser Mike Braithwaite helped with the corn maze concept as well.

“He was here through all the cutting down of it,” Jordan Moorse said. She said they were going to also do a flower as part of the maze, but the group ran out of time.

About six to seven families came out to the corn maze Friday afternoon, FFA members said, which included birthday parties.

Sisters Jodi Loyson and Laura Hennen, both of Ghent, brought their kids to the maze Saturday afternoon. Lane, Kylee, Mariah and Jake Loyson, along with Kate, Evan, Elise and Zach Hennen, set out to explore the paths with their mothers.

“We were just commenting that it’s fun to be out on a Saturday,” Jodi Loyson said.

Laura Hennen said they were getting a kick out of helping out in picking the corn.

A few other families came out to the corn maze during the first hour of operation. Karen Dalager and her sons, Ryan, Adam and Owen made their way through.

“There’s lots of paths, we didn’t see that the first time,” Karen Dalager said.

Bailey Herigon and Megan Gile, both of Cottonwood, ventured into the corn maze.

“They’ve never done a corn maze before,” said Bailey’s mother, Ronda.

Karen Dalager helped Owen collect an ear of corn. Kids who turned in corn got a sucker.

“I found my way out,” Owen Dalager said as he hauled out a couple ears of corn to put in the bucket. His mother said they found a couple extra but decided to leave them for other kids to find.

“We went around twice,” Adam Dalager said.

Ryan Dalager was eager to take another turn in the maze.

“C’mon Adam, let’s go,” he said. Karen Dalager dashed after them.

Herigon and Gile also went through the corn maze a second time.

“We took the long way,” Gile said.

Imogen Moriarty and her grandmother, Linda Nuytten, along with Janell Laleman and her grandson, Ethan Loftus, headed into the maze.

“This is a good deal,” Nuytten said about the maze, saying that similar corn mazes in the Twin Cities can cost about $18 a person. The Minneota FFA was asking for free will donations.

The grandmothers and their grandchildren kept walking through the maze. They looked for a way to continue.

“Is that a dead end, or is there another path?” Nuytten asked Loftus.

“Let’s go straight,” Loftus said. A few minutes later, a grasshopper caught the young boy’s eye.

After they got out of the maze, Nuytten and Laleman had their grandchildren pose for a photo by the corn stalks. Moriarty thanked the FFA members as they left the corn field.

The corn maze will be open on Halloween Thursday from 6-8 p.m., with a haunted corn maze from 8-9 p.m. Thursday and 6-9 p.m. Friday. It is located just off of Minnesota Highway 68, across from the Minneota Auto Body.