If you’re feeling a bit lost this fall you might be in the Kraay Family Farm corn maze. The corn has reached its peak height of 8-12 feet tall and will stay that way until the end of the season.
Rachel Kraay, of Kraay Family Farm, didn’t know if they would be able to open the farm this spring, but after speaking with Alberta Health Services they determined they would be able to open – with a few changes.
“We started a booking system, which we’ve never done before, where people could book their time online because we knew this fall would get busy. So, we are trying to navigate those waters and of course lots and lots of signage and gallons upon gallons of hand sanitizer around the farm,” said Kraay.
Some of the changes included cancelling the pig races because they tend to draw crowds. They also had to create informational ads on the Kraay Family Farm radio reminding people to social distance and wash their hands.
“It’s a very different year as far as planning. We did decide not to do a couple of bigger projects because we didn’t know what was going to happen and what the different measures that we’d have to take here on the farm would be,” she said.
What the farm was able to plan was a sunflower maze that was up earlier in the season and has now “gone to seed,” and the corn maze.
This year, the corn maze is one big section divided into two smaller mazes. The theme is Alberta Cares and the maze features pieces of the Alberta crest. The corn will stay green until the weather gets cold and then it will turn crunchy as the weather changes.
“As we get our first hard frost, which we haven’t gotten yet, then the corn will slowly start to get that crispy corn feeling and sound,” said Kraay.
The pumpkin patch has also got the fall feeling.
“We just started pumpkin picking this week and the big tent will be up next week,” said Kraay.
They keep the pumpkins in the tent as opposed to the patch to keep them warm.
“The pumpkin patch is more for photos because if we left the pumpkins in there they would just be mush by the end,” Kraay explained.
Business has decreased for the farm this year. Kraay doesn’t have official numbers, yet, but she is estimating they have seen a 20-30 per cent drop – which she says is understandable.
“There’s less travelling. Also, people just need to feel comfortable being out here and we know that’s not for everybody, and different people have different circumstances,” said Kraay. “We’re about 20-30 per cent down right now, but that’s better than not being open.”