Black Island Farms treats Halloweeners to 'Twilight' maze

Sep 21 2011 - 1:57pm

Images

(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) From left, fourth-graders Natalie Sanchez, Annette Jensen, Lismer Carmona and Farhiya Hussein hold corn, pumpkins and carrots on a hayride at Black Island Farms in Syracuse on Tuesday. Students from Backman Elementary School in Salt Lake City visited the farm to pick vegetables and check out the “Twilight”-themed corn maze.
(Courtesy photo)
(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) Brandon Law (left) tells fourth-graders about freshly picked carrots at Black Island Farms in Syracuse on Tuesday.
(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) Fourth-grader Farhiya Hussein holds a pumpkin she picked on a hayride.
(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) From left, fourth-graders Natalie Sanchez, Annette Jensen, Lismer Carmona and Farhiya Hussein hold corn, pumpkins and carrots on a hayride at Black Island Farms in Syracuse on Tuesday. Students from Backman Elementary School in Salt Lake City visited the farm to pick vegetables and check out the “Twilight”-themed corn maze.
(Courtesy photo)
(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) Brandon Law (left) tells fourth-graders about freshly picked carrots at Black Island Farms in Syracuse on Tuesday.
(ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner) Fourth-grader Farhiya Hussein holds a pumpkin she picked on a hayride.

SYRACUSE -- Did you know there are more than 3,000 known uses for corn?

But at Black Island Farms in Davis County, one of the most popular uses is the annual corn maze.

This year, the annual Black Island Farms Harvest Festival, which runs seven days a week from Friday to Halloween, offers not only tours through the fields, but the chance to get lost in a maze cut through the corn fields, as well as hayrides and a haunted house, among other activities.

More than 130 employees, mostly teenagers, will be on hand to help people through the mazes or help them with a frightful time in the haunted house.

On Tuesday, fourth-graders from Salt Lake City's Backman Elementary School offered "wows" of excitement as they toured the grounds at Black Island and were offered a few lessons in agriculture.

Many of the students had never seen a carrot patch, and were excited to see a carrot pulled from the dirt.

"What does a plant need to grow?" teacher Barbara Rodgers asked.

"Nutrients, sunlight, air and water," chanted several of her students as they bumped along in a trailer being pulled by a tractor through the fields.

Brandon Law, who operates the farm, pointed out that carrots, corn and cabbage come in different varieties.

"Nothing smells better than a fresh carrot," Law said as he handed out carrots to the students.

The farms, owned by Charlie Black, turned to agri-tainment seven years ago to help keep the farm in business, said Dorathy Law, Black's daughter, who also operates the farm.

This weekend, the entertain-ment will include five miles of corn maze.

Law said the theme of this year's maze is "Breaking Dawn," a sequel in the popular "Twilight" saga. The cornfields -- with twists, turns and dead ends -- are designed to look like the faces of the actors: Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

Besides the maze and hayrides -- which include a pumpkin for every passenger -- there is a farmer's market, animal alley, cow train, corn cannon, pig races, a haunted house, a grain-chute slide and many other activities.

"It's really neat to see so many people here," Black said, adding that organizers are hoping 50,000 people will come to the farm.

"At night when the lights are on and you're in the maze where the fire pits are, it's magical," Black said.

Because of the way the venues are set up, he said, it doesn't seem that crowded, even at the busiest times.

Dorathy Law said by opening the farm to the public, her family has a chance to teach visitors why farming is so important for the country.

"At the rate farms are being sold, the U.S. will soon be relying on other countries to import fresh vegetables and fruits," she said, pointing out that Black Island Farm is not just a place for entertainment, but a "real working vegetable farm."

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