Politics, heroism, and state pride.
It’s all part of one big theme this year, as popular farms in the western Morris County area have gone to great lengths to not only entertain their customers, but to make the most of their land.
Alstede’s Farm, Stony Hill Farm, and Ort Farms in Chester and Long Valley have put aliens to shame in 2013, creating visual masterpieces out of their cornfields, which double as mazes and activity centers for their customers.
Stony Hill Farm took the political route, cropping the faces of Governor Chris Christie and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono out of 10 acres of cornfield on their property.
“We’ve never done faces before, and it was a great challenge,” farm stand manager Dana Davis said. “The reason we chose [the candidates] was to bring awareness to the [gubernatorial] race and get people out to vote.”
Davis said the farm used a “get out and vote” theme for the 2008 Presidential Election, and felt it even more necessary this year because of the local and statewide ramifications.
Staying in Chester at Alstede’s Farm, this year’s theme is an ode to the business’s namesake and their long lineage of firefighting in the area.
“Honoring Firefighters” is the theme at the farm that lines Rt. 513 in Chester, as owner Kurt Alstede, his father Hermann and brother Eric are all members of the Chester Volunteer Fire Company.
Each weekend throughout the fall, members of the fire company will be on hand at the farm with a piece of firefighting equipment. The corn maze outlines two firefighters amidst a flume of smoke, with the word “Thanks” inscribed.
Just over the border in Long Valley at the corner of Bartley Road and Rt. 513 is Ort Farms, which this year decided to not only show pride in its home state, but give back as well.
A cutout in the shape of the state of New Jersey, accompanied by the words “Stronger Than The Storm,” weaves its way through the property’s cornfield.
The symbol isn’t just for show, however. Ort Farms will be donating a portion of proceeds from its corn maze admission sales to Hurricane Sandy relief charities, according to manager Nicole Ort.
So, Patch readers and farm fans, which one of these cornfield mazes do you think is the best?