Fall fun at the Whitcomb Farm10/09/08

Giant pumpkin weigh-in this Sunday

Oct. 9, 2008

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Mary Whitcomb wants Williston residents to get lost — in the Whitcomb Family Farm’s corn maze, to be exact.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Mary Whitcomb stands in the walls of her farm’s corn maze. Whitcomb said the corn harvest has been bountiful this year, apparent from the maze’s 14- to 15-foot high corn stalks.

The maze, now in its fourth year, has been open and will remain so through Columbus Day weekend. Families wanting to escape into a labyrinth of 14- to 15-foot tall corn walls can do so by visiting the farm on Fay Lane in North Williston.

The farm’s annual giant pumpkin weigh-in is also this weekend, at noon on Sunday, Oct. 12. Whitcomb encourages anyone who’s grown a giant pumpkin this fall to stop by the farm and see how much the massive gourd weighs. She said her brother, Kevin Companion of Huntington, may stop by with a pumpkin weighing more than 1,000 pounds. He’s also brought the pumpkin to the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.

Visitors will also be able to purchase giant pumpkins at the weigh-in. For people looking for something smaller, normal pumpkins and gourds are also available.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
A giant pumpkin greets visitors at the Whitcomb Family Farm corn maze. The pumpkin, painted by neighbor Bambi Fontaine, will be weighed along with other giant pumpkins during a weigh-in on Sunday, Oct. 12.

Throughout the maze, there are painted corn ears for children to collect. If found, the painted ears can be returned to staff at the end of the maze for a free pumpkin.

Golf tees are also hidden in the stalks, and once out of the maze, lucky scavengers can use the tees on a putting green for more prizes.

Also in the maze are informational kiosks detailing Vermont’s maple sugar industry, the theme of this year’s maze.

Whitcomb hopes good weather will bring people to the farm. The sunnier the day, the busier the maze, she said.

“We can get anywhere from 30 to 50 people continuous in the maze, maybe sometimes more than that,” Whitcomb said.

Once the Whitcombs — Mary works with husband and farming partner, Lorenzo — close the maze, they plan to cut the two-acre crop to feed their cows. Whitcomb said the corn would feed their 300 cows for close to five days. The field will then be re-seeded with grasses, such as alphalpha, until the growing season ends.

Besides this upcoming weekend, the maze and pumpkin patches were open to the public for the past two weekends, as well as to school groups and other community organizations during the week.

The cost for adults is $4, with 25 percent of proceeds going toward the school district’s Families as Partners organization. Children ages 4 and under are free.

“I try to make this an affordable and fun activity for families,” Whitcomb said.