We all know that most of the current marijuana laws are not based on science—and that’s not just because of their grandfather clause of “medical” marijuana. The reason why the most recent drug war is happening now, is because of a stark shift in public opinion. The truth is, the greatest minds in science didn’t even want marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug, but public opinion won. Though a lot of people still don’t know this, the science is already there, and the only thing that’s holding up the legalization of marijuana is the government.
The first Hemp Maze opened in May of 2016, and shortly after the owners expanded. In the past year, there have been 30 plus maze openings in the US, Canada, and Belgium, not to mention other countries that have been added. The maze’s design is a newer spin on the typical maze, creating a different approach to the same concept. Instead of a small open area, the maze is a maze within a maze, where the maze within the maze is a maze within a maze.
HOLTWOOD, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) – Corn mazes have shown to be a dependable method for farmers to interact with the public and teach them about agriculture while also increasing their bottom line. (Photo courtesy of Eric Hurlock)
This year, Cover Crop Coach Steve Groff decided to take it a step further and grow an industrial hemp labyrinth on his farm.
The 4-acre fiber hemp labyrinth will open to the public next Saturday, Sept. 4, along the farm road at his Cedar Meadow Farm in Holtwood, Lancaster County.
Groff has long been a leader in local and national agriculture, having developed the Tillage Radish and preached the benefits of no-till farming.
At CedarMeadow farm in Holtwood, hemp farmer Steve Groff inspects one of the fiber hemp plants in the hemp labyrinth. The labyrinth will be available to the public on September 4th.
When the 2018 Farm Bill restored industrial hemp to Pennsylvania’s agricultural landscape, he went in head first and hasn’t looked back.
Education runs through all of his agricultural efforts, from Cover Crop Coaching to Hemp Innovators. And that’s precisely what he wants to do with his new hemp labyrinth, as well as a little advertising for his CBD products, which he just released.
Groff said, “That’s actually what’s behind the labyrinth.” “There is a widespread lack of education among the general population. They just aren’t aware of the many health benefits of hemp.
Consumers need to be aware of it so they can start asking for it, according to Groff. “With all of these hundreds, if not thousands, of goods that could be produced with hemp — a renewable resource that farmers could profit from if we can get this infrastructure up and running.”
Groff will have teaching stations set up throughout the labyrinth to aid with public education.
How do you explain to Grizzly the farm dog that his image is carved into a hemp field?
Maize Quest, a business headquartered in York County, developed and built the labyrinth.
While this was Maize Quest’s first hemp project, maze master Hugh McPherson stated that creating a hemp labyrinth is no different from creating any other kind of maze.
Maize Quest has worked with a variety of crops throughout the course of its 23-year existence, including bamboo, sudangrass, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, and hedges, in addition to corn mazes.
Groff’s ambition to construct a hemp labyrinth did not surprise McPherson. He’s known Groff for a long time and has seen him at previous hemp gatherings at Cedar Meadow Farm.
The hemp labyrinth was inspired by the Cedar Meadow Farm CBD brand’s logo, which is a stylised picture of Groff’s dog, Grizzly. Using GPS, the picture was then overlaid onto the field.
The Maize Quest crew would usually rototill the paths after marking the field.
Because Groff was committed to no-till farming, the pathways were mowed using a BCS walk-behind sickle bar mower. Due to the stringy, rope-like structure of the hemp stalks, a conventional deck mower would have rapidly been tangled.
Groff consulted with his township for any specific zoning concerns before going forward with his labyrinth design, and was ultimately granted the green light. Groff said, “I live in a municipality that is extremely rural and highly agricultural, so that works in my favor.”
He said, “Insurance may be a huge issue.” “I checked with my insurance provider, and although I know I’ll have to increase my rate to cover this, it was really very reasonable.”
With his hemp labyrinth, Steve Groff hopes to educate the public and mainstream the crop.
Eric Hurlock took the photo.
Maize Quest assists farmers in navigating the complexities of organizing on-farm agritourism events.
Groff has been cultivating CBD hemp on his farm since 2019, but the maze is a fiber type called Bialobrzeskie, which grows considerably higher than CBD kinds.
Groff got the seed from King’s AgriSeeds and sowed it thickly — around 60 to 70 pounds per acre. Groff said, “We didn’t scrimp on seed because we needed it thick for the maze.”
At the conclusion of the season, Groff plans to cut, ret, and bale the labyrinth and sell the harvest to a processor.
The farm will also include pick-your-own pumpkins, sunflower picture ops, hayrides, bison feeding, baked goods, and live music in addition to the labyrinth.
The labyrinth will begin on September 4 and remain open weekends through the end of October. Tickets may be bought in advance at cedarmeadowadventures.com.
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