Every year brings new changes to the Edmonton Corn Maze. Over the last eighteen years, this confusing construction of corn has grown into a beloved local institution where people eagerly await each jaw-dropping design, excited at the thought of getting lost within its stalks. In past years, the maze has been transformed to pay homage to video games, sports heroes, and bull riders. This year the corn maze pays tribute to one of Edmonton’s biggest heroes, hockey superstar Connor McDavid. The farmland the corn maze is situated on has also been transformed into a gathering place of fun.
If you and the family aren’t up for the challenge of the maze there are games to play, pedal carts to try, and hay bales to climb. With animals walking throughout the grounds you can pay a visit and feed them some treats. Picnic areas offer a place for the family to sit down for lunch or a snack. The farm also has a new farmer’s market to visit. After all, both picnics – and humans after finishing a lengthy corn maze – need food.
So courtesy of the newly minted Garden Valley Farmers’ Market, named after the road it’s located on, you can now shop for produce, treats, and other local goodies during your visit. Expect fruit and vegetables, potatoes, corn, beef, honey, and plenty more from local producers like Good Morning Honey, Little Potato Company, and more, all located in the Parkland County area and elsewhere. Some of the producers are literal neighbours: the honey is harvested just a couple hundred feet away from the maze, and Wedgewood Farms, known for their potatoes, can be found down the road.
Showing Off Their Friends and Neighbours
For Jesse Kraay, part-owner of the Corn Maze and a farmer himself, the new farmers’ market came out of a want to showcase local farms, producers, and their wares.
“Over the years, we’ve known there’s lots of stuff locally we wanted to showcase,” Kraay says. “We get a lot of people out here so if we can show them a little bit of what’s available and highlight some of the producers, we thought we’d give it a try. [The market] is a great way to showcase what’s being grown and produced right outside the city.”
From corn maze to farm wonderland, Kraay has no problem admitting it’s all new to them as well. A lot of the new additions, such as the market, are a mix of what people coming to get lost in the maze are looking for and what they want to see, whether they drive out for produce or are looking to take stuff home after they finish the maze. If eighteen years has shown Kraay anything, it’s that he and the rest of his family, who all work on the property, love watching people come out and have a good time on the farmland.
“It’s a great way to showcase stuff that’s being done locally,” he says. “People like to see you’re reinvesting back into your projects. They like to see something new every year.”
For now, you can catch the market during the usual maze hours from now until October. Kraay says the success of the market could lead to extended hours, such as after the maze closes for the season, during the spring, late fall, and even Christmas.
“We hope to keep bringing in stuff that people are interested in,” Kraay adds. “We hope that it can be something people can see throughout the year and enjoy just being outside and in a real environment, trying things that they don’t usually try, seeing what the area has to offer.”