Where: Eliada campus, 2 Compton Drive, Asheville.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28. $9; $6 ages 4-11. Info and times: http://www.eliada.org
Why: A corn maze without corn is just an open field — lovely to look at, but not a great place to spend an afternoon. For the past four years, Eliada, a nonprofit agency that serves local children and families, has presented acres of corn for autumn-enthusiasts looking to help the community. But this year, 90 percent of its corn seedlings were destroyed by crows. Through the help of volunteer farmer Bud Sales and the local agricultural extension office, Eliada replanted nearly all of its 12 acres of corn. A noisemaker system blasted a horn every 30 minutes to keep the crows away. The new crop thrived.
The organization chose a tropical variety of corn designed to flourish long, hot summers. "The corn will stay green and lush even farther into the maze season," says Carolyn Ashworth, director of development for the Eliada Foundation. "Thick fields of green corn are definitely better for a corn maze than the dry brown stalks you often see as the season progresses."
The corn maze is just one of Eliada's attractions this year. Every weekend through Sunday, Oct. 28, there will be a hay rides, giant tube slides, a large sandbox filled with corn kernels and a storybook trail for younger kids. The funds support Eliada's residential and day treatment programs for high-risk children and adolescents, child-development services and therapeutic recreation program.
There are few things more autumnal than a lazy afternoon lost in the corn. So see Eliada's new crop of corn for yourself and join with members of the community to support Eliada's ongoing work with local children.
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