GREENBLUFF, Wash. - A beautiful, five acre corn field sits perched above Beck's Harvest House in Greenbluff.
"It looks like a sloppily planted corn field right now," Owner Todd Beck joked on Thursday, July 30.
It does. I was trying to be nice, but yeah, it's not much to look at right now, but come September it will be transformed into a giant corn maze families can get lost in.
This year, the maze comes with a message.
"We're all in this together, we're all in 2020. It hasn't been the best year we've ever had," Beck said. "We wanted to express some type of design that we felt is a positive attribute to where we are in the world right now. We just want to really push, be kind to each other."
That's exactly the message of this year's corn maze: Be Kind.
Harvest House released the design on social media this week featuring the year, "2020", the words "Be Kind", and an American Flag, something Beck holds in the highest regard.
Although it's hard to see the patriotic design in July, the corn maze this year will also take into consideration the socially distant times that will presumably extend into the fall.
Most corn maze pathways are about three feet wide. This year, a familiar distance will make an appearance.
"Every other pathway is twice as wide. So you can get six or seven feet apart within the corn maze itself," Beck said. "We also have large areas in the maze that you can stop at and be able to keep your social distancing from other people in the maze. So you can go down a pathway and there's people there, you can get around without having to be shoulder to shoulder with someone that's not part of your family."
Putting the design together isn't as daunting as it sounds, just a bit tedious.
Rows are planted running north to south and east to west, forming a grid. From there, Beck works with a company who helps create corn mazes all around the world. The design is printed, someone then takes some paint and walks the design while marking it, while another person follows spraying herbicide to kill the marked corn. In a few months... a corn maze!
The whole process takes about five hours for three people to accomplish.
"By September, [the corn] should be six, seven, eight feet tall!" Beck said.
The Fall Festival at Greenbluff is a popular place to visit as Summer ends and Autumn begins, but this year it will no doubt look different.
"Fall festival will be going on this year, we just don't know how yet," Beck added.
They've been slowly preparing for a Fall Festival with restrictions in place as they've adjusted to the current restrictions, so while it may look different, Beck is hoping people still show up and enjoy all that Greenbluff has to offer.
"Greenbluff is a great asset to Spokane," Beck said. "But we can only survive up here with the support of people coming out to see us. We're a great alternative to being in town. We're clean, we're fresh air, we're spaced."