Behind the scenes of The Farmstead in Meridian

The Lowe family farms between Meridian and Kuna
Posted at 11:00 AM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 13:05:54-04

Fall is in full swing and Halloween is just around the corner and many Treasure Valley residents will be getting out to enjoy the festivities. 

You may have heard of the Farmstead in Meridian, seen aerial video of the corn maze, year after year or even visited. 

But have you ever wondered how it all gets done?

The Farmstead in Meridian is well known around the Treasure Valley for it's fun and unique corn maze designs and has even been recognized nationally.

This year, the theme is "Pac-Maize." 

But behind it all, is the family who operates The Farmstead and getting the corn maze to a final product is no small undertaking. 

"People get lost everyday. That's the point, that's the whole idea," said Jim Lowe, Owner, The Farmstead in Meridian. 

For many, visiting The Farmstead in Meridian is a Fall tradition. 

Jim and Hillary Lowe and their three children are the family behind the corn maze, games, treats and wagon rides.

When they're running The Farmstead, they farm between Meridian and Kuna.

And the Farmstead actually serves a dual purpose. 

"It's also going to cattle feed later. It will probably end as milk in your refrigerator at some point," said Lowe. 

Jim says the idea of a corn maze never crossed his mind until he graduated from Utah State University. 

"I went away to college and I came up with this concept of Agritourism or Agritainment," said Lowe. 

Every year, the family must decide what the theme will be for the corn maze. 

"We revise and refine those and narrow it down until we finally make that choice about what it will be for the year," said Lowe. 

Then Jim goes to the drawing board. 

He designs the plan on a computer program as his wife and family check his work along the way. 
"On the computer here, we can zoom in and connect and disconnect pathways to create the intricacies of the maze," said Lowe 

It's a process of refining and tweaking until everyone is happy with the final product. 

From there, it's printed out into blueprint form. 

"And then this becomes our guide in the field," said Lowe. 

Flags are used to mark out exactly where the maze will be. 

"I've got a pretty good thirty inch step to pace it off as we go," said Lowe. 

And then the painting begins. 

"Making a corn maze like this one is no easy task. Jim does it all by hand," said Lowe. 

"I really like to be particular and be precise and so by doing it by hand," said Lowe. 

After the design is all marked out, Jim gets to work cutting. 

"So, there are lots of tools that we use, one of which is just a simple machete, uh where we can go through and wack open a pathway. All right, lets see it, cutting corn stalks with a machete," said Lowe.

You might wonder how many people it takes to do all that cutting. 

"Lots of people play a role, but as far as actually putting it in the field and creating it, I just do it myself. It's a one man show," said Lowe. 

And of course at the end of the day, the point is to get lost. 

"You know it's a different sensation to actually be lost physically in a corn field, um but with a little bit of persistence, everybody finds their way out. We're 100 percent," said Lowe. 

And once the season ends, it doesn't mean the Lowe families' work is done... 

They're already considering ideas for next year. 

If you would like to visit The Farmstead in Meridian, they're open Monday through Thursday from four to nine p.m. and Friday and Saturday from ten a.m to eleven p.m. It runs through October 28th. 

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