Kraken Maze Draft 9 with overlays

Maze plan with grid and cutting aids (circles and golden spiral templates) overlaid

So, contrary to popular belief, the corn maze does not simply appear in our cornfield one day…it would be awesome to wake up one morning and find a giant squid visible from the tower, but alas, we need to rely on forced labor (OK, not really forced…) in the hot sun to get the design in the field.

Here’s how we do it:

1) Finalize the design. This can involve heated discussions between the designer (Angie) and the farmer (Alan) but eventually we come up with the plan.

3) Stake the cornfield. This allows the workers to figure out where they are and relate that to the plan, which is printed out on a grid. We don’t use GPS, as our design is so complex it would be difficult to get the accuracy we need.

4) Transfer the design from the grid on the page to the grid in the field, using paint and flags to mark the trails.

5) Mow the trails as a preliminary step–corn that has been mowed off at this stage will still grow back, so if a mistake has been made, it will hopefully be caught before the next step…

6) Till out the trails. This removes the corn plants, and so the tilled trails are “permanent”–they had better be in the right spot! (although Alan has been known to take “artistic liberties” ¬†with the design on several occasions.)

Staking and getting ready to lay out design

Sometimes the reaction to the design is “Are you kidding me? You want me to cut that!?”

The plan

Sections can be enlarged to help get the details right–trails must be laid out accurately to 6 inches.

Laying out a circle

For perfect circles, we find the center point, measure the radius, and paint the circle. This year’s maze has a LOT of circles…which is good (check out all of those circles on the tentacles!)

Mowing a trail

Once a trail is marked with paint or flags (and double-checked against the plan), we mow the corn short.

Crew leader cutting the maze

The crew leader consults with everyone who is marking and checks over the layout. It takes about a week to get the design in the field.

Tilling the corn maze

Tilling is the last step–it’s the equivalent of drawing in pen, because it removes the corn permanently.

Dogs in the corn maze

The dogs don’t actually help, but they’re cute.