From the Farm:
Salt Creek Valley Farms: Full of Fall Fun
By Angela Dailey, Kansas Corn intern
What better way to get your family out to enjoy the beautiful fall weather than a fun look into agriculture? Jay Schwinn and wife Patti, along with Jessica Smith and husband Brian, are excited to present Salt Creek Valley Farms open for business in Leavenworth County for the second year. But the fun doesn’t stop at the end of fall. Salt Creek Valley Farms has many different fun attractions and events throughout the year.
Jessica’s dad, Jack, farms the majority of the 300 acres of cropland and was excited about participating in the harvest time activities. What was previously a grass pasture for grazing livestock next to the crop field, has now been turned into the beautiful and innovative fun park. The fun park includes various games and activities for children to play on including an interactive corn maze, hay rides, U-Pick pumpkins, tire mountain, hay mountain, U-Pick vegetables, bakery and farm animals.
Although, Salt Creek Valley Farms is still a young business, it does not stop them from being unique, which is a continuous goal for the owners. Jay says, “we are still figuring it all out and modifying, while learning how to continue to grow.”
The farm has two corn mazes – an adult maze that includes a fun bridge in the middle overlooking the entire maze and a kid’s maze that is a lot shorter for the kiddos to enjoy.
When going through the corn maze you are given a game sheet, on the back of the game sheet is a map of the maze, but the map is not just your ordinary map. To the naked eye, it looks like a bunch of various red dots. But with the help of “maze vision glasses” which are red lens glasses, you can look at the map and see the whole maze which then gives you the ability to see where you are at in the corn maze. There are also stations throughout the corn maze where you can slide your map under the red plexiglass that is attached to the stations that will help you figure out where you are and what path you need to take to find your way out of the corn maze.
Salt Creek Valley Farms participated in Kansas Corn’s recent project to provide educational posters to corn mazes throughout Kansas. Be on a look out for these posters at your local corn maze, and if you don’t see any let us know so we can add them to the list for next year!
Salt Creek Valley Farms has seen a great response with community members along with traveling families and individuals who came out to their corn maze and U-Pick pumpkin patch. The farm crew was excited of the support they received from visitors last year despite extreme weather patterns of unseasonable heat followed with weekends of heavy rainfall.
“What was heartwarming for us,” Jay says, “was even when it was raining we had people show up and still go through the corn maze.”
Jay, Jessica and their families believe in the importance of fun and educational experiences for families. They came up with this business as a way for families to create great memories out on the farm, as they still reminisce on their own memories. They realize that many children are more than two generations removed from the farm and want those children to get the same experiences they once had. They plan to continue to grow and innovate their facilities for upcoming years.