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Take A Hike Through A Corn Maze

Agricultural tourism helps farms to thrive

Jennifer Husko  Sep 26, 2009

A local farm in Galloway Township, New Jersey is cashing in on agricultural tourism and says it won't cost you much to enjoy what they have to offer. Jeremy Sahl has been working on the family farm since he was just 8 years old and now he's in charge. Sahl said, "I enjoy farming because it's a good life... the farm has been in our family since 1867, I'm the sixth generation."

When he was growing up, the Joseph Sahl Father and Son Farm used to grow for greater production but he tells us, just as seasons change so have the times. "Now we're down to mostly green crops, corn, wheat, soy beans."

But although he's still doing what he loves, making a living off of the land, things aren't always easy. "The cost of producing things has gone up, cost of produce has gone down." Despite that he hopes to keep the farm around for his sons to grow up with, like he did. "So I'm thinking how can I attract people to my farm?"

Last November, it hit him like a ton of bricks... agri-tourism would help him use what he grows to attract a crowd. "So I started looking at a corn maze and started doing research on the Internet." Jeremy found a company that helped him design this 8 and a half-acre corn maze with over a mile of twists, turns and dead ends that make up, from a birds eye view, the Philadelphia Eagles logo. "It's my first year but I'm not reinventing the wheel."

Some area businesses stepped up as sponsors to help offset the cost of creation so he could bring in some additional money for his family during the slow season. "So this is kinda the extra income that helps get us over the hump for the end of the year."

After visitors find their way to the end of the maze, and we hear it takes about an hour, they hope people enjoy hayrides, their pumpkin patch and all the affordable family fun they have to offer. "We want people to enjoy themselves, that's the number one goal to enjoy themselves without breaking the bank."

And the other goal is to keep his family farm growing for generations to come. "My son's three years old and I want it around for him."

The Joseph Sahl and Son Farm’s corn maze is open through October 31st.

Agricultural tourism helps farms to thrive
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