ECHO — Gina Tyhuis is excited for another season of sharing her love of agriculture with others at the Echo Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.
Bob and Gina Tyhuis moved to Echo nearly five years ago; however, Gina’s family has been a part of the area farming community for many years. This is the fourth year the Tyhuis family, which also includes 5-year-old Brent, has created the corn maze as part of their farming projects.
“I’m a farmer,” Gina said. “I like to educate people on where food comes from — most everything starts on a farm or ranch.”
One of the highlights of the corn maze complex, Gina said, is an agricultural education program. Area schools, she said, have enjoyed time at the corn maze — both having fun and learning about farming.
The program features four stations that people can rotate through. They include a focus on the growth cycles of corn, pumpkins and bees. The last station features team-building activities.
In addition to the educational component, the corn maze also harvests a lot of fun. A variety of activities are available, including the regular corn maze, the corn crib, a mini-maze, a straw bale maze and tunnels, a hay bale pyramid, kiddie carts and a zip line. Also, there’s a fire pit with seating. The Field of Screams Corn Maze Path is open on three select dates.
The corn crib, Gina said, is extremely popular. Doubling in size from last year, she equates it to a giant sandbox —only it’s less messy and more fun. Also, while at the corn maze, don’t forget to purchase a pumpkin to take home.
The event schedule includes Special Olympics Day (Oct. 11, $5 admission for coaches and athletes from 2-10 p.m.), Oregon Army National Guard Day (Oct. 12, $2 off regular admission with military identification from 2-9 p.m.) and Five Dollar Fridays (through Nov. 1, discounted admission from 2-6 p.m.)
The Echo Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions. Heather Teem of Hermiston ushered in her 26th birthday this past Friday with her family — Rhonda Teem, Michael Reese and Zoellie Teem, 5.
“There’s a whole lot to do — having something like this is really nice,” Heather said.
Zoellie’s melon-shaped grin confirmed her mother’s sentiments. The 5-year-old’s eyes lit up even further when she chose her own pumpkin.
Concessions are available Friday through Sunday, which includes beverages and light snacks. People are asked to refrain from bringing their own refreshments and no alcohol is allowed. However, private reservations are available for picnics around the fire pit — bringing your own food or take-out from local restaurants is allowed with reservations.
The corn maze continues through Sunday, Nov. 3. Be sure to check the schedule for added activities or changes in hours.