Treinen Farm is beginning to brew with activity as the fall season sits on the horizon. It won’t be long until kettle corn starts popping, the goats begin bleating and people twist and turn their way through this year’s new, intricate corn maze.
Angie and Alan Treinen, owners of Treinen Farm, have recently unveiled their latest corn-filled creation titled the “Crane Dance”, a maze featuring crane designs. Angie Treinen, the mastermind behind the mazes every year, said they will be partnering with the International Crane Foundation to help share facts and stories about cranes.
“The crane foundation had done a lot of interesting stuff like conservation, with the whooping crane down to not many individuals not that long ago, and the Crane Foundation was very instrumental in bringing them back to the US and into the world,” she said.
Treinen said she knows a lot about cranes due to her veterinarian and biology background, as well as having visited the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, and felt she could explore the idea of cranes through a number of different angles on the farm.
Treinen Farm has become known for their corn maze, even appearing in USA Today in 2018 as one of the top 10 best corn mazes in the U.S. Last year, their maze “The Elephant’s Child” featured a folklore-type design that was inspired from a fictional Rudyard Kipling story about a young elephant and how his tusk grew after an encounter with a crocodile.
“We get a lot of attention internationally,” Treinen said. “A lot of that is because our maze photo is amazing and really gorgeous.”
She said this year’s “scribbly, picasso-esque minimalist” crane maze design is a culmination of 50 hours of design work and 150 man hours cutting the corn field. Treinen said she likes to challenge herself with new artistic stylings each year.
This year had some additional challenges, she said, due to the amount of rain Treinen Farm received. Sections of the maze was yellow because of all the standing water in the field.
“This has never happened before,” Treinen said. “We’ve never had this much wetness.”
She said the farm’s heavy soil is great during drought period, such as what they saw in 2012 when there was very little rain. During wet years, the field holds a considerable amount of moisture, which can be less than ideal to walk through.
Treinen said it rained so much last year they had to close their parking lot due to it becoming a “mud ocean”.
“I’m planning on a really nice fall this year,” she said.
Exploring the farm
Beyond the maze, the farm is host to a number of animals such as goats, pigs, calves, bunnies, horses and chickens. Treinen said she wants people to see farm animals in a natural setting and encourage empathy for animals.
Usually the animals are kept in the barnyard and people are able to feed them. This year Treinen said she’s going to attempt to create a chicken show by training them to perform certain tasks. Similar to training a dog, she said she plans on using a clicking device and food to encourage certain behaviors, such as pecking a certain color, sitting on a hand or flying to a specific location.
“You can’t train a chicken to do something it would never do,” Treinen said. “You have to kind of offer the behavior and then reward the behavior.”
Right now the chickens are still tiny chicks but they’ll be big enough to perform in October. She said she’s not sure how entertaining this will be yet but it will be more about teaching people how animals learn.
Other staples of the farm, such as the pumpkin patch, horse-drawn wagon rides, food vendors and play areas will all be back again, as well as the more difficult secondary maze. The farm will draw in around 20,000 people a season and Treinen said a mix of challenging maze activities and explorable playground offers something for both kids and adults.
“The maze brings people on dates and team building for people on corporate groups and outings of grown ups,” she said. “I feel like there’s plenty of places to take your kids to play, and of course we want to be one of those places, but there’s not as many places for grown ups to goof around.”
Treinen Farm is officially open every weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning on Aug. 31, Labor Day weekend, with the maze. Sept. 27 will be the beginning of the main season as the pumpkin patch, hayrides, food vendors and the rest of the farm activities open. The main season ends Oct. 27 and the corn maze will be around until Nov. 10.
For a full list of things to do at Treinen Farm and to schedule weekday events, visit their website at www.treinenfarm.com.