MANTUA, Ohio - A local farm supplements its income with a popular corn maze and farm tour during harvest season.
The Derthick farm has been in operation in Portage County for over 200 years. These days, with a rough economy and weird weather, the farm's owner needed to get creative on generating income.
They did it by turning their fields into a tourist attraction.
Their 17.2 acres of corn has been transformed into a themed corn maze. This year, there's an Ohio connection.
"The owner, Phil Derthick, thought it would be a great way to honor John Glenn on his 50th anniversary orbit of the Earth," says Tim Bennett, who works at the farm.
The maze is cut by a professional designer from Idaho who takes the farmer's idea and turns it into a maze.
He then loads the design into a computer, the computer talks to a satellite, and the satellite talks to a GPS on his specially fitted tractor.
The tractor cuts the corn perfectly.
The maze isn't the only thing to see at the farm. They also give "farm experience" tours, where you can see farm animals up close. There are also games, tractor rides, and food for sale.
Maryellen Derthick-Hamlin, an eighth-generation Derthick, says people should dress for the weather and wear boots, as the trails can get muddy.
She also adds, "If you're coming at night, two things. We sell our last tickets at 9:30 p.m. so get here early to have more time to enjoy the farm and, if you do come at night, don't forget your flashlight!"
Maps are available and they do have guides walking the maze to help out if you get lost.
If you'd like more information on the farm and maze, just follow the link provided.
WKYC Photojournalist Carl "Big Daddy" Bachtel brings you the story. He still may be wandering the maze by the time you get out there.