Ten foot tall corn stalks rustled in the breeze on Friday afternoon as families made their way down the narrow and winding corridors of a living maze. They back-tracked a few times, had to check the map more than once, and a few were a little spooked by the sound of birds and other people making their way through the corn. Eventually everyone made it back to the safety of the R.A.M Farms pumpkin patch, where they poked around for the perfect pumpkin before heading home.
Turlockers no longer have to travel out of town to enjoy the fun and excitement of a Halloween corn maze. R.A.M. Farms introduced their first ever corn maze on Oct. 1 and they have received very positive feedback from the public.
“We like to ask people what they thought of it and they are excited to have something like this to do in Turlock, they give us constructive feedback,” said Ron Macedo, owner of R.A.M. Farms.
The corn maze is a new addition to the annual R.A.M Farms pumpkin patch. Macedo said people really enjoy the pick-your-own pumpkin concept and normally there is a pumpkin patch growing on the lot at the intersection of Canal and Daubenberger. However, pumpkins are a crop that has to be rotated and Macedo decided to grow the pumpkins a few miles away this year and give the land a few years’ rest from pumpkins.
“We really like this location and people know this spot as the pumpkin patch, so we decided to bring the pumpkins in and plant a corn maze,” Macedo said.
The corn maze has two paths for visitors to choose from. The easier “ghost path” goes around the outside of the maze, which is shaped like a ghost. The harder path is a maze through the center of the corn field with checkpoints along the path. The maze does not have a “haunted” element this year, but there are night-time flashlight maze excursions on Friday and Saturday nights.
“It isn’t a spooky maze but we don’t recommend the night time flashlight maze for kids under 5 because they might still get spooked in the dark,” said Karen Macedo.
The maze has several attendants who will help visitors out if they get lost or need assistance. They are identified by their staff T-shirts, which are adorned with “corny” slogans.
“We haven’t lost anyone yet,” Ron Macedo joked.
The corn maze provides a new activity for older kids and adults. Smaller children can still enjoy their own hay maze for free. The course is designed for toddlers and up, and is short enough that mom and dad will always be in sight. There is also pumpkin bowling, where participants can buy a pumpkin and bowl ‘till it breaks.
As a life-long farmer Macedo said that he has an interest in the pumpkin patch and corn maze from an agricultural perspective. R.A.M Farms is serious about pumpkins. They grow all of their own gourds on a 15 acre pumpkin patch. With over 30 varieties, they have something to offer for almost everyone. Their pumpkins include the traditional Magic Lantern variety and also many varieties of heirloom and giant pumpkins. They get customers ranging from kids picking out their first Jack o’ lantern to grandmas picking up decorative white pumpkins for the front porch.
R.A.M Farms is open daily from noon to dusk, until Oct. 31. The cost of admission to the corn maze is $8 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 12, and children under 5 are free with a paying adult. Visitors are asked to wear close-toed shoes and stay on the path. Flashlights are required after dusk. The maze is located on Canal Drive, where it dead ends at Daubenberger Road.
R.A.M. Farms has a pick your own pumpkin patch in Ceres this year located along Hwy 99's frontage road in Ceres; take the Mitchell Road exit, drive south along Rhode Road, and enter the patch on the left of Esmar Road.
For more information on the Turlock corn maze or Ceres pumpkin patch, visit www.ramfarms.com.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.