Farm, Maze & Winery Open Hours
Pick-Your-Own: Mon-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
Farm Market: Mon-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
Bakery: Fri-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
Winery: Sat 12PM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
Maize Quest: Friday & Saturday 10AM-10PM with Flashlight Nights, Sun 1PM-7PM
It is easy to be filled with fear these days. News contains fearful information. Cars could crash. You could get ripped off. Friends could die. You could get sick. Parents are elderly. The stock market could crash. Storms could damage the crops.
In fact, one might think that the best way to live is in a continuous state of fear. That being in s state of perpetual worry might somehow prevent you from experiencing negative externalities however they might come.
The trick is that in preparing in fear, i.e. worrying, you are robbing yourself of the time and energy you might use in a negative situation. you are even depleting your resources to live a better life by expending energy you might have used living, in preparing for things that are not going to actually happen.
Sunflower seed is dry, hard, and inert. when placed in the ground, it is completely enclosed by soil; it is in utter darkness.
Fear creates darkness; darkness of mood, darkness of spirit, darkness of inaction. We all know people who became lost in their own misfortunes. Friends who withdrew from family, became cocooned in a darkness of their own making.
It is in this darkness that the spiral begins, if life isn’t going our way, then we fear what will happen next. Our intense fear generates energy and our creative minds build entire worlds of scenarios of terrible things that could happen.
The sunflower seed, now packed in the dark soil begins to grow on the inside, then slowly, ever so slowly, the growth reaches into the soil. The soil is found to contain nutrients and delicious water which feeds the tender plant. Soon the plant pushes both deeper into the soil and towards the sun-warmed soil above.
Dealing with fear is not only an ‘inside job’ as the relentless self-focus brought upon ourselves by social media and advertising would have us believe. Even the stereotypical ‘self-made man or woman,’ an idea steeped into the American ethos, places total focus on self-generated improvement.
I read books and study self-improvement, and there is a place for doing hard work internally to make one’s life better. In my life, however, it has almost always been encouragement from others, inspiration from others that led to quantum leaps in my personal growth.
As the sunflower cracks the surface into a world filled with rain, wind, plant-eaters, and cold, it finds itself also warmed by the sun.
Fear also longs for company. Once grumbling begins, it is a short trip to the bottom as everyone piles in with the latest bout of bad news. Misery loves company and now that company is only a tap away on your mobile phone.
Do you know someone who is always grumbling? Complaining? Can’t ever get over a slight, a perceived injustice? Those people are decidedly not a joy to be around. The cloud is always over their heads threatening to bring you into their dreary lives.
The sunflower finds warmth from the sun, but oh, so much more! The sun feeds energy to the new green leaves and suddenly, the sunflower no longer must grow on its own – it is fueled by the light.
Do you bring light to others? Are you an encourager who freely brings and gives energy to others? Would your friends say that you shine?
Fear diminishes in the presence of light. When you were young and perhaps scared of the dark, you parents might have plugged in a nightlight. That small light was enough to calm your fear. So, too, is the light of kindness and encouragment enough to prove light and energy to others.
As the sunflower grows and spreads its leaves, it comes to follow the sun across the sky capturing more and more of the energy, growing taller and taller.
As a parent, coach, business leader, and manager, you and I need to have an impact on those around me. We all have an inner need to have an impact on others.
In your life, you’ve seen the impact of different leadership styles. The Command and Control style forces obedience and doles out punishment producing an environment of fear. Passive-aggressive style insinuates and irritates to create conformity. Charismatic leaders expect cult-like followers to self-sacrifice for the leader.
You can likely name a few more, but in the end, these leadership styles aren’t effective at creating a family or workplace for members to thrive. The most influential people are those who give energy.
As the sunflower reaches full height the sunlight absorbed for weeks is released in a dazzling display and the fruitful plant produces seeds to perpetuate itself, nectar for the bees, and finally food for birds and other life.
So many things we fear never happen, but in the fearing, we rob ourselves of the energy we need in the present.
We need more light. Not only light for ourselves, but light granted graciously and freely to all those around us.
- Smile and make sure you are the best customer that server helps today.
- Send an encouraging note to your daughter’s teacher.
- Thank the coach for spending so much time with your son.
- Text a friend you know is feeling a bit down due to illness in his family.
- When something goes wrong at work, share the load of making it right.
- When a coworker has a big win, celebrate with them and for them.
Light begets light. Wave-particle Duality is one of the mind-bending concepts that I learned first in Mr. McCleary’s science class. It still enthralls me today.
The basics: Light is a photon that behaves like a wave of energy and like a particle simultaneously. Think of it this way: Light is a wave, meaning it spreads out from a lightbulb in all directions, AND it also can heat your hand because it is bouncing off your hand energizing your hands by making your skin particles move.
Sunflower’s final gift is joy. We began our sunflower festival because sunflowers don’t simply represent joy, they create the emotion of joy inside people. They encourage a positive emotion.
In a world filled with fear, with media spewing fear, with an internal creative ability to imagine, then fear, scenarios that have not happened, what if you could create and distribute light?
Creating and distributing joy, energy and light is totally free. Kindness spreads out like a wave, yet the impact of choosing kindness impacts people as if it were a particle. It is a choice made each day, no matter where you were planted.
Joy & light, cider & donuts, apples & pumpkins, giggles & smiles await you here on the farm. I hope to smile with you this weekend.
See you soon on the farm,
PS We DO have sunflowers to view, should you choose to visit the Fun Park! We planted some for our route along the Hidden Gem Railroad trackless train ride. Zinnias, too!
PPS Our NEW jump pads are here! This is Pumpkin Jumper, but you’ll have to visit to see the incredible new BIG Jump Pad design…
Weekend action at the farm:
- Flashlight Night – Friday & Saturday 10AM-10PM, last ticket at 9PM! Get lost in the dark with your flashlight, but don’t worry, we never scare people here 🙂 Flashlight Nights are good for EVERYONE!
- Apple Picking – TONS of crisp, juicy apples are EARLIER than you might expect, including Reds, Smoothee Golds, Jonee, Empire, Stayman, Jonagold, Macs, Fuji.
- Pumpkin Picking: INSANE pumpkins, fewer but BIGGER makes for some incredible deals as pumpkins are just $.75 per pound, but NO pumpkin costs more than $15! Yup, that 40-pounder – just 15 bucks.
- Maze Fun Park this Saturday features the FIRST Flashlight Night of 2021, so you can get lost in the DARK. Everyone LOVES exploring the maze with flashlights, and we NEVER scare people at Maize Quest, so it’s the perfect, fun date or family adventure.
- Donuts! We are making our signature Apple Cider Donuts and much more this weekend in the bakery – make this your final stop of the day!
- Cider: Who doesn’t want to kick off the harvest season with sweet apple cider!? Made with our apples by Kime’s, it is THE taste of Fall – plus we have cider slushies, too!
- Open Air: EVERYTHING at the farm is a breezy, beautiful open-air attraction, so you can RELAX and enjoy acres and acres of space with your friends and family!
Check your forecast – it’s pretty nearly the PERFECT Fall weekend, and the farm is open for you!