CABOT — Though the Hicks family has been hosting field trips and church groups at their farm in the fall for the past four years, this year is a little different.
Hicks Family Farms has a corn maze available for visitors each year, but this year’s design is close to husband and wife Kevin and Rebekah’s hearts.
Visitors aren’t able to see the design of the maze when they enter it, but if they saw an aerial shot of the maze, they would recognize the honey bee and butterflies that grace this year’s design.
“My sister-in-law and Kevin’s mom passed away, and their initials are in the butterflies on the maze,” Rebekah said. “There are 10 honeycombs at the entrance (representing the Hicks family before the deaths), and there are eight at the [exit] because we lost them.”
The maze is something the Hickses create every year, and they sometimes have trouble agreeing on the design, but this year’s maze, designed by Rebekah, was the first that everyone agreed on right off the bat.
The Hickses said they enjoy seeing the children who come to the farm each fall because they learn about the origins of their food.
“The kids from the city don’t get to see farm animals,” Kevin said. “We can use this as a teaching tool.”
Kevin and Rebekah both grew up in Cabot, and Kevin grew up in a farming family.
Kevin said the farm is only open six weeks out of the year, and the family has to enjoy the visitors they have in that short period each fall.
“We both enjoy it when the kids come,” Rebekah said.
“They’re not used to seeing this much space or haven’t ever ridden a pony,” Kevin said. “Nowadays, not many people are growing up on farms and don’t realize how much work it is.”
The Hickses harvest hay, wheat, cattle and corn when the farm closes to the public. While it is open for visitors in the fall, patrons can pick their own pumpkins, see baby animals and learn about agriculture.
“I enjoy letting [our visitors] see what goes on on a farm,” Kevin said. “It’s not a 9-to-5 job — it’s a lifestyle.”
The farm is open the last week of September through the first week of November.
Both Rebekah and Kevin said that each year before the opening, they get nervous because they have to make sure everything is in place.
“Agri-tourism is new, and there’s a lot of trial and error involved. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work,” Kevin said. “We do our best and want people to leave satisfied.”
Once the farm opens for the season, Rebekah said, she and her husband both breathe a sigh of relief.
“It’s a load off your shoulders because you have to do so much that last week [before we open],” she said.
In the end, what both Kevin and Rebekah love to see at their farm is families spending time together.
“I think that’s important,” Kevin said. “When they come out here, [they spend time together], and the adults act like they’re kids again.”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.