Get lost (and found)

Three easy steps to losing yourself in the sensory delights of summer:breathe deep, tilt your face to the sky and spread your arms wide.

Three easy steps to losing yourself in the sensory delights of summer: breathe deep, tilt your face to the sky and spread your arms wide. Now walk through the cornfield.

And lose yourself you will, twisting and turning through The Uxbridge Maze, where four hectares of lush, green corn grow as high as an elephant’s eye. But don’t worry if you can’t find your way out.

“The coyotes will find you at the end of the season,” laughs Steve Cooper, one of the masterminds behind what he calls “the most challenging maze in the GTA.”

If you want a quick escape, just yell “Corn cops!” and orange-vested puzzle patrollers will put you on the right path.

Getting lost — and found — is all part of the fun at Cooper’s CSA Farm near Mount Albert, about an hour northeast of Toronto. “It’s amazing how many people just walk through with their hands reaching out to touch the corn,” says Cooper. “It’s a sensual experience.”

That includes your sense of direction. “You have to work to get out,” he promises. It’s “real tough,” full of circles and dead ends.

“We pride ourselves on having a real puzzle, not just a walk in the corn,” says Cooper, who brainstorms with family members, staff and customers to come up with a new theme and design each year.

It’s a maze of many moods. There’s romance by the light of the silvery moon, when young couples seem to need longer than the average one hour to get through. And there’s mystery, on a dark and cloudy night when only the flip of a cellphone provides a guiding light.

The Coopers’ corny sense of humour produces a bumper crop of brain teasers along the way. “Cornundrums” are picture puzzles that serve as markers so you know if you’ve covered the same ground twice. And strategically posted multiple- choice questions keep you on track if you get the answer right. Get it wrong and . . . well, forget about shortcuts. The 3.5-metre stalks are a tight 20 centimetres apart.

Cornfusion aside, city folk learn a thing or two about “what’s going on out here,” he says of the family’s working farm with 16 hectares of fruit and vegetables, chickens, 300 goats and an on-site store. His wife Lisa and children Cayla, 14, and Trenton, 13, all pitch in.

For more information on the maze, go to www.uxbridgemaze.ca. For information on the farm, go to www.coopersfarm.ca.

Farms for fun

Everdale Organic Farm
With meadows, forests, a model home and an organic farm with livestock, bees and crops, Everdale’s 20-hectare property is one big classroom for teaching sustainable living practices. Tours, workshops and kids’ activities happen on the second Saturday of each month, June through September. (Hillsburgh, north of Brampton; 519-855-4859, www.everdale.org.)

Downey’s Farm Market

Goats walking overhead are a main attraction at Downey’s farm, which includes a winery and a barn packed with homegrown fruit and veggies, baked goods, jams and gifts. Great spot for family events and parties. (13682 Heart Lake Rd., north of Brampton; 905-838-2990, www.downeysfarm.com.)

Spinning Wheel Alpacas
These sweet-faced, fleecy creatures, raised by Nancy and Garth Hutchinson on their four-hectare farm, make for better wearing than eating. Their fibre is spun into cozy clothing, blankets and home accessories that are sold online and in the on-site store. Best to call ahead to arrange a visit. (1857 Regional Rd. 3, Enniskillen; 905-263-2098, www.spinningwheelalpacas.com.)

Andrews’ Scenic Acres

This family farm grows 68 hectares of flowers, fruit and vegetables ripe for the picking — by you — right through the season. Take a wagon ride to the fields for rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, elderberries and pumpkins, among other offerings. And don’t forget to sample the fruit wines. (9365 10th Sideroad, Milton; 905-878-5807, www.andrewsscenicacres.com.)

 
 
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