Mantua – Locals were duly impressed by Derthick’s Corn Maze & Farm Experience last week, as not one, but two Cleveland news crews visited the over 200-year-old farm last Tuesday. Fox8’s Todd Meany was first to arrive, experiencing the farm and maze, finishing off his fun day on the farm with a ride on the bucking cow train. Later that same day, Channel 3 photojournalist Carl “Big Daddy” Bachtel was on hand to interview MaryEllen Derthick Hamlin and experience the farm for himself.
Just what did they experience? They started by joining a group of local kids, who came for the hands-on educational offerings of the aptly-named Farm Experience. While the Derthick family runs a dairy farm, other animals in their Farm Experience include rabbits, piglets, goats, ponies, chickens and horses. MaryEllen Derthick, self-proclaimed “farm girl” and eighth-generation on this family-owned farm, states “Kids’ faces just light up when they see our animals. There’s no bigger reward for us than when a child who was initially apprehensive around animals gets the courage to pet a goat or ride on a pony. By the end of their visit, they leave with a huge smile. That’s why I love doing this.”
But the animals aren’t the only draw. Kids of all ages like the corn boxes ? large sand-box-style bins filled to the brim with corn kernels. Children can sit in the boxes and play with provided buckets and shovels; more adventurous kids can climb and careen down slides into the corn. From corn boxes to pony rides, or a ride on the bucking cow train, there’s plenty to see and do at Derthick’s Farm. This year, come on out and cast your vote for your favorite presidential candidate via the new corn cannon. The cannon shoots corn cobs or tennis balls at presidential targets across the farm yard. “Votes” are still being tabulated, some make sure to cast yours during your visit ? no voter I.D. required.
But the farm isn’t just fun and games, explains Derthick. “Kids get to see where their food comes from, first-hand. They learn that food doesn’t just come from a grocery store — most of what they eat comes from a farm like ours.” Make sure to plan enough time to explore the exhibits, play games, and enjoy the outdoors, because there’s more than just a corn maze to occupy your family.
Since “Corn Maze” is their middle name, it’s no surprise that this year’s maze covers 17-acres of Mantua farmland. The maze, which encompasses over five miles of trails, has been cut in shapes celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic space flight orbiting the moon. Elements included a profile of Ohio-born astronaut John Glenn, an image of the Earth as seen from space, the space shuttle Discovery, and the NASA logo. Come for the maze, dress for the weather, and plan extra time to experience all the family fun this local gem offers.
To view an aerial image of Derthick’s 2012 corn maze, or for information on planning your visit, see: http://www.derthickscornmaze.com/2012-maze-design.php. To see the story that ran on Channel 3, visit: http://www.wkyc.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=262704. Todd Meany’s clip did not run by Weekly Villager press time, but is scheduled to run this week. Visit http://fox8.com/ to see check it out.