Orem farm kicks off season of corn mazes and fall fairs
With the current heat wave and smoky haze blanketing Utah County, it may not feel like autumn. But one Orem farm kicked off the season of corn mazes, pumpkin patches and tractor rides this weekend.
Wilkerson Farm started its Fall Fair on Friday, complete with a 5-acre corn maze, tractor rides, shotgun slides, a pumpkin pyramid and flying apples. New to the fair this year is a 22-foot tall tower swing with 12 bucket seats that spin around the pole. Also new this year is another spinning attraction, Fruit Salad, a teacup style ride.
It may seem early for a fall fair, but Rachel Wilkerson, co-owner of the farm, said Wilkerson Farm is ready for it. The corn in the maze is nice and tall. Tall enough that the handful of young families who enjoyed the farm Friday night were quickly swallowed up in its turns and twists. Wilkerson’s employees also started harvesting pumpkins earlier this week, so there were three full bins for visitors to pick from.
Wilkerson Farm is a 30-acre farm straddling 2000 South in Orem, started in 2010. After a fall from a roof, Rachel’s husband, Richard Wilkerson, decided to forgo work in construction. He missed the farm life he grew up with as a boy, so he and his father, Richard Wilkinson Sr., partnered to turn an empty plot of land into a successful farm.
Seven years later, the family works together year-round on the farm. On a patch of fields, surrounded by bustling residential and commercial areas, they are dedicated to growing organic food.
The Wilkersons also wanted to try farming because they noticed farm land in Utah County gradually disappearing, and wanted to be a part of preserving agriculture. They started the farm as a vegetable farm, and now partner with other farmers for fruit. From May until November, they operate a country store on the farm, and also sell their food at Salt Lake County and Provo farmers markets.
“We do it now, because we believe in food security,” Rachel Wilkerson said. “We believe in keeping our local people fed.”
The Wilkerson farm store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The Fall Fair runs during those times as well, and entrance admission includes all the activities and rides. Pumpkins and food are sold separately.