Local News

Bunn Farm is Truly A-Maze-ing

Posted August 22, 1999

— To keep a farm in the family these days, creativity is needed. A farm family in Franklin County is experimenting with a new way to generate income -- they are turning their farm into a tourist attraction.

A view from Sky 5 is truly "a-maze-ing!"

Could it be the work of aliens carving secret messages in a four-acre country corn field? Is it amazing or is it just a maze of maize?

The maze at the Vollmer family farm is one of several that have "cropped up" around the country.

A businessman has created nine of them, two in North Carolina. Don Frantz'sAmazing Maize Mazebusiness is growing. The "Bull Market'' maze his firm created at Rural Hill Farm, near Huntersville, N.C., has proved popular.

This season AMM added one at Tanglewood Park, near Clemmons, N.C.; at Myrtle Beach's Fantasy Harbour; and the rest scattered between Camarillo, Calif., and Titusville, N.J.

For the Vollmers, keeping their farm going was the key motive.

"We wanted to reach out to families, provide things for families to do. Come spend the day with us. So the corn maze seemed like an exciting thing to do."

Mary Vollmer and her father-in-law John hope their challenging corn path will lead the way to keeping the farm in the family for a fifth generation.

And the maze is not all. The entire Vollmer farm is set up for visiting families and school groups. They come for fun and to learn something at the same time.

John Vollmer says these fields also have a lot to teach other farmers who want to see how strawberries and pumpkins can grow without the use of pesticides.

"If we can walk the fields early in the mornings while it's cool, and pick off insect eggs, it reduces the number of insects that we have to spray for," John Vollmer said.

Many people use homemade compost in their flower beds but imagine how much compost it would take to cover a large farm field. And imagine the size of the aerator needed to turn it.

"Making compost is an expensive thing," John Vollmer said. "But the wonderful things that happen in your soil that are a result of compost are to me, worth it."

In one small field, children can see soy beans growing right next to cotton and peanuts. In a larger field they can see how corn grows.

After the maze proved to be an enigma for Dan Wilkinson, he declared that the corn had grown a couple of inches since he had ventured into the midst of it.

The Vollmer Farm is just a few miles southeast of the town of Bunn on highway 98. Their big fall season for hayrides and homemade ice cream begins Sept. 23.

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