By Dan Linehan
---- — MONTGOMERY — Starting in 2010, Scott and Barb Wardell have planted a six-acre cornfield — in a grid pattern instead of traditional rows — and waited for the sprouts to grow about 8 inches tall.
The first year, they pulled out corn to form the shape of the Minnesota Twins’ logo. The next year, the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, was Abraham Lincoln’s face. Last year, all four of the Beatles’ faces appeared in the corn.
This year, the Montgomery Orchard decided that its Be-A-Mazed Corn Maze would reflect a charitable theme, Scott Wardell said.
He said they’ve been active with the hunger relief group Second Harvest Heartland, and they enjoy using their event to donate to the food shelf.
So the Wardells persuaded two of the heavy hitters in foods in the region — Faribault Foods and General Mills — to each donate a pound of food for every pound that guests bring.
The maze’s design features one of the donors’ biggest icons: the Jolly Green Giant.
In addition, each guest who brings a non-perishable food item to the corn maze will receive $1 off the admission price of $6.75 for adults 12 and older and $5.50 for kids ages 5 to 11. Montgomery Orchard, 15953 State Highway 99, is one mile east of the intersections of highways 99 and 13.
It’s open 1-6 p.m. Fridays and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 3. It also offers apple picking. Of the 16 varieties of apples, 15 were created by the University of Minnesota, and Wardell said the crop is excellent this year.
Wardell said he sometimes hears complaints that the corn maze is a waste of perfectly good food. Not so, he says; the crop of field corn is still harvested every fall.