(Oh boy, pun overload in that headline, no?)
Even though Mother Nature apparently isn’t a fan of the calendar these days, it is in fact fall. And 87 degrees and humid weather be damned, the Jovi family was going to celebrate fall this weekend.
A few weeks back, Groupon had a great deal for Long and Scott’s Farm in Mount Dora. Of course I’d heard of their monster corn maze for years, but this was the year we finally decided to head out to the country. Some of us city folks weren’t so sure what to do with all that fresh air.
Not only did the Groupon save us 50% on admission, it gave us the biggest highlight of the day — we got to skip the super long ticket line and go right to a special Groupon line. Awesome. Saved us probably 30-45 minutes of broiling in the sun!
Before they set us loose on the 7 acres of corn mazes, we had to first watch a safety video and learn how to call for help if we got really lost (I mean, obviously there are procedures to follow for bad navigating).
To get to the mazes, you either had to walk through a big waterpipe or slide down a 60-foot slide. We opted for the tunnel this year. Maybe next year E. will be up for the mega-slide.
After tearing E. away from the playgrounds outside the mazes (because she never gets to go on a playground. Only every day, you know), we decided to test our maze-worthiness on the mini-maze. With our own little Dora leading the way, we were off on an adventure (thankfully we didn’t have to shout “Where are we going? Corn Maze!” or “Say Map! Say Map!” every 30 seconds).
In the mini-maze, you were supposed to find 5 chalk stations. You put a different finger in each one and then you got your fortune at the end, based on which colors were on which fingers.
So we looked. And looked. And looked for chalk boxes.
Sometimes we climbed up bridges to look for a way out.
Sometimes, we got too tired to walk anymore.
But at long last, we made it out. It was fun and our little explorer loved taking the lead and telling Mommy and Daddy which way to go for a change.
After all our navigation troubles in the mini-maze, we thought we’d wait at least another year for the big one. Besides, there was still a hayride to go on!
E. got to hold some world-famous Zellwood Sweet Corn as we learned about the farm’s biofriendly growing practices. They showed off their new irrigation system (it’s a long story) and all the beehives (trivia: did you know that the blossoms on vine fruits and veggies, i.e. cucumbers, squash, melons, etc. have to be pollinated 15 to 18 times EACH to grow one fruit? Fascinating).
We also learned that Long and Scott Farms supplies most of the cucumbers to Clausen and Mount Olive for pickles! They grow special thin-skinned cucumbers that are ideal for pickling.
Some of us liked these fun facts more than others.
After the hayride, it was time to get our shop on in the farm’s Market.
Yum, we had those zucchini and some yellow squash for dinner tonight and it was delicious! They told us that all these veggies were picked that day, and judging by how good they tasted, I believe it!
Despite the heat (which may have made us all — OK, fine, just me, the non-native Floridian — a bit cranky), it was a great day and hopefully created some fun memories and perhaps a new tradition for our family. My grandparents were dairy farmers and I spent weekends and summers on the farm. I can’t imagine a more idyllic childhood and I hope we’ll be able to find ways to incorporate E’s heritage into her life. It may not be full summers spent picking rocks, baling hay or helping to milk the cows, but I think it’s important for her to learn and appreciate early how hard people work to grow and pick the food that she eats.
And besides, how much more fun is it to get some pumpkins in the country?
We visited 2 years ago, the place is incredible! We didn’t do the corn maze, we’re going to wait until our little guy is older. Looks like you guys had a blast (and you picked out some nice pumpkins)!!!