Fall Harvest Time

Pumpkin Patch - York County, Pennsylvania

It’s Fall Harvest time at Maple Lawn Farms!

It’s the best time of the year at Maple Lawn Farms! Come out to the farm to shop, pick, taste, and play! It’s apple and pumpkin picking time. It’s also time for the corn maze and other fun attractions at our Maze Fun Park. Don’t miss this special time of year! Come experience fun at the farm!

Fall Harvest Hours

Farm Market & Orchards:
Monday – Saturday 8AM-6PM
Sunday 1PM-5PM

Bakery:
Saturday 8AM-6PM
Sunday 1PM-7PM

Wine Tasting:
Saturday 12PM-5PM
Sunday 1PM-5PM
(More Info: MapleLawnWinery.com)

Maize Quest Corn Maze & Fun Park:
Saturday 10AM-6PM
Sunday 1PM-7PM

Starting Sept 17th:
Friday – Saturday 10AM-10PM
Sunday 1PM-7PM
(More Info: MazeFunPark.com)

Only two weekends left – “It’s always somebody.”

No Scare Halloween Weekend | 2 FOR 1 Pumpkin Picking | Farmer Hugh’s blog | FINAL Apple Picking |
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Big Pumpkin field
Get days this weekend for picking pumpkins Fri & Sat are the LAST CHANCE.
Life on the Farm – “It’s always somebody.”

Just two weeks to go for the Fall Harvest season. Yep, November 8th, we close the Farm Market & Maize Quest Corn Maze & Fun Park. Seems like only yesterday we were interviewing new employees for the team, but it was July.
As we prepare to bid our guests farewell for the season, it makes me realize how much I’ll miss the crew of Mazemasters, Donutmasters, Marketmasters and Orchardmasters who help make our farm the warm, inviting place it is.
No matter how many attractions we add, the experience comes down to people. You might say, “It’s always somebody.”
Somebody welcomes you. When you arrive and get your tickets, somebody welcomes you. While I’d love to welcome each guest myself, I can’t possibly do it without friendly teens and adults who work here to help you.
Somebody cooks for you. Our bakery & donut crew is the largest, most cross-trained team we’ve ever had and they’ve put out more apple cider donuts, pies and dumplings than ever.
Somebody cares for you. Whether on a ride, like our new Hidden Gem Railroad, checking out your treats in the market, learning on a school tour in the orchard or getting your video introduction in for the corn maze, our team is caring for you. Answering questions, making change, stocking sodas, checking tractors – they do it all.
I’m really thankful you are our guests.
YOU make our dream of operating this family farm possible.
  1. APPLES: Final weekend in the orchard! York, Stayman, Rome, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard.
  2. PUMPKINS: Buy 1, Get 1 Pumpkin Blowout! Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, but NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
  3. SAVE on Maize Quest Tickets and experience our newest attraction the Hidden Gem Railroad Trackless Train Ride. [CLICK HERE]
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Life on the Farm- “You just never know.”

Gorgeous Columbus Day Weekend on the Farm | PRIME Apple Picking | Get Your Pumpkins | Farmer Hugh’s blog
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It’s Fall Y’all! Great weather Sat-Sun-Mon, spend family time on the farm.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Beautiful sunset over the Pumpkin Shed.
Things to Know this Week:
  1. APPLES: Granny Smith, York, Stayman, Rome, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Just $15 per half-bushel. PUMPKINS: Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, but NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
Life on the Farm: “You just never know.”

Hi,

What a crazy time of year. On the farm when it’s harvest time, you still have all the other work to do and you have to harvest all the crops. During this time, it’s akin to being “in the Red Zone” 24/7. You just never know what’s going to happen.

This past week alone, we had hurricane threat, a long-time church friend pass away, clarinet lessons, (I’m writing this before we leave for..) soccer practice, social media posts to share, CSA boxes to pack, construction to supervise, supplies to pick-up, a family to feed, kids’ homework to check – you just never know what’s going to happen.

So what do you do when you don’t know what’s going to happen?

Step 1. Prepare as best you can. We knew rain was coming. We knew we wouldn’t be selling hundreds of baskets of apples and hundreds of tickets, so we enacted our plan to reduce hours and staff, update our communications with our guests and make wise decisions based on staff and guest safety. Sure, we weren’t busy in the rain, but we minimized the impact on our staff and guests.

Step 2. Stay positive. In farming, you live by the weather which happens to be completely out of your control. We know rain is a bummer for everyone, but we’ll be open next weekend and the sunshine will be back. The sun will (actually) come out tomorrow!

Step 3. Keep your eyes on the prize. At Maize Quest, we don’t have a Mission Statement, we have a mantra: “Make People Happy.” That’s it. That’s the mission, the filter for choices, the guiding light for our business and our staff. When a situation comes up, we evaluate the response with “What will make people happy?” We often say, “It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s what you do that matters.” We are going to take care of each and everyone of you, our farm guests, no matter what.

So here we are, a week after the big rain event. The apples are still on the trees, the corn maze looks great, the fields are dried out, the cool weather is great for hot chocolate, the pumpkins are freshly washed.

We can’t possibly know what next weekend will bring, BUT this weekend looks great with sunny weather Sat-Sun-Mon.

Are you ready for a break?
Get lost with your family on the farm.
Get lost from the hassles.
Get lost from the over-scheduled schedules.
Get lost from the hustle and bustle to breathe clean air, walk the stalks, eat from the trees and sample treats in the market.

Purposefully take the time, choose to use your time to unplug from the world and escape together, just for one day this weekend.

You just never know what next week will bring.

See you soon on the farm,
Hugh
PS Need a farm field trip for your learning adventure? Groups are booking right now. Email Michelle at michelle@cornmaze.com or call her 717-495-1759. Over a dozen groups booked last week alone and time slots are going fast! Learn more about groups at Maize Quest [CLICK HERE]
PPS We almost never have a good crop of Granny Smith Apples, but this year is exceptional. Granny Smith will SELL OUT of the orchard, likely by Monday, so if you like the tartest apple out there, get here soon 🙂
Maize Quest Open Every Weekend!

What’s FUN at the Fun Park?

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Hugh, The Maze Master

Apple Alert- “Git yer Grannies!”

Granny Smith: Once every 10 years, we get a crop like this.
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Grab your Grannies whilst you can. They will SELL OUT in the U-pick orchard in less than 7 days.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Beautiful sunset over the Pumpkin Shed.
Limited time picking for Grannies & JonaGold Apples.

Just a quick orchard update. Granny Smith apples rose to fame during Martha Stewart’s tenure as America’s home cooking guru. They are extremely tart, GREEN apples. Great for baking.
We have a very limited planting of them and a VERY limited chance to get a good crop of them, but this is one of those exceptional years.
Fortunately & unfortunately, they are SUPER POPULAR (unlike me in high school:-)! They will SELL OUT likely within 7 days of this email.
Everyone always asks me when Grannies are ready, so here’s your fair warning. Get here this weekend to get them or your Grannies will be GONE!!!

See you soon on the farm,
Hugh

Do you choose… adventure?

Do you choose… adventure?
Eric Big Pumpkin
Beautiful look into the rain forest.
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Mac, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Just $15 per half-bushel. Mr. Allen is in the gazebo with baskets. Early pickers get the BIG Pumpkins! Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, BUT NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
  2. Maize Quest OPEN Friday 10AM-10PM, Saturday 10am-10PM with Flashlight Nights, Sun 1PM-7PM. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing.
  3. SAVE on Maize Quest Tickets and experience our newest attraction the Hidden Gem Railroad Trackless Train Ride. [CLICK HERE]
Life on the Farm: “Fun is a choice.”

Hi, Hugh,

Ever know someone who couldn’t manage to have a good time anywhere?
Ever know someone who had a good time anywhere she went?
Yep. You know them both. Maybe you are one of these characters. Perhaps you are somewhere in-between. The key here is that your choices are much more important than your circumstances. Whether or not you have fun each day, at an event, with your family, during some quiet retiring time – it is all your own personal choice.
Circumstances are things that happen around you. Though choices help create circumstance, to a large degree, you can’t control your circumstances. The weather, for instance, is completely out of your control.
Reactions to your circumstances are completely under your control. You may disagree heartily with a retort such as, “My mother-in-law makes me so mad I have to yell at her!” But, you’d be listing reactions that are actually under your control. You technically, do not have to yell at her, but you let yourself do it anyway.
Complaining is a reaction, and an inefficient one. Complaining is a typical reaction to challenging circumstances. We all like to complain because it unloads some of our frustration on the listener. We feel better. Typical, the listener does not.
Why I am writing about this now. I can’t change the weather. Friday night, we just had to close. Tough to do when you are only open for business for a limited season, but I went home, enjoyed dinner with the kids and watched a family movie snuggled up on the couch.
That’s the best I could do out of bad weather circumstances. In my younger days, I would have been fraught with indecision and racked with worry over the financial implications. Now that I’m older, I’ll steal that extra Fall night with my kids and figure the finances will work themselves out without me worrying about it.
So, yes it has rained.
Yea! It has stopped.
We are OPEN for you to enjoy time with your family this weekend Saturday ’til 10PM and Sun 1PM-7PM. The wind is drying things out and the pumpkins are freshly washed. The corn maze pathways are packed down, so you aren’t going to sink into mud.
Dress for adventure, hop in the car, enjoy easy access to attractions and choose your own adventure this weekend at Maize Quest. 
A happy crew of farm staff and an unusually well-rested Mazemaster are here to take good care of you 🙂
See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh

PS I actually love my mother-in-law. It was just an example. You’re the best, Jane 🙂

Maple Lawn Farms & Maize Quest – “As young as you can, as long as you can.”

Pumpkins patch OPEN | PRIME Apple Picking | Maize Quest Flashlight Nights | “Young as you can.” blog
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The BIG pumpkins go FIRST! Get here early to pick.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Early pickers get the BIG ones! Checkout this family’s haul. Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, BUT NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Mac, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Just $15 per half-bushel. Mr. Allen is in the gazebo with baskets!
  2. Maize Quest OPEN Friday 10AM-10PM, Saturday 10am-10PM with Flashlight Nights, Sun 1PM-7PM. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing.
  3. SAVE on Maize Quest Tickets and experience our newest attraction the Hidden Gem Railroad Trackless Train Ride. [CLICK HERE]
Life on the Farm: “As young as you can, as long as you can.”
On top of every thing you have to do in a week, you still need to parent your children. Wait, strike that, reverse it. During this hectic week we stumbled into some very typical “kids growing up and dealing with issues” moments. It led me to revisit a premise upon which my wife and I whole-heartedly agree: “Keep them as young as you can, as long as you can.”
Dress code. I have a fashionista daughter, who by some miracle of wife, church and modesty, has not yet fallen prey to Justice, booty shorts, and “Princess Butt” sweatpants.
For some reason, as boys shorts keep getting longer and they pull their socks up to meet the bottom of their shorts, girls are pushed into “adult revealing clothes”, though most adult women I know, wouldn’t where stuff like that.
Keep the dress code, young as possible, as long as possible.
Media. Please, we don’t even have an Xbox and we have one TV in the house. We’re not Amish, but we’re too busy to watch hours of media each day. Video games are monitored, devices aren’t allowed in rooms, the computer stays in the kitchen we’re we can see it. Don’t fall for “Everyone else is playing/watching/listening to…” Our rocking family nights are more “So You Think You Can Dance” than “Call of Duty VI”.
Keep the media inputs as young as possible, as long as possible.
Family time. I love this time of year, because we see so many familiar faces. After 19 seasons in the maze and longer on the farm, we have watched families grow up in the orchards. I saw a great, long-time visiting family this weekend; just happened to run into them before they left.
Both 20-something sons have full-time jobs, parents are busy with their lives, but they prioritize time together as a family. They were smiling, laughing and joking because one soon had been in a severe auto accident a few months ago and had a concussion, so they brought him to test him in the maze!
They were having good, old fashioned fun together as they had for over a decade at the farm.
They are staying young together, enjoying time together, as long as they can.
I know this email might sound a bit preachy, but this is what’s happening now, in my 40-year-old life. Am I way off base here?
This is a beautiful weekend, apples are ready, pumpkins are ripe, the Fun Park & Amazon Corn Maze are ready for your family. Call a time out on your hectic life and escape to the farm.
If you’d like to keep your kids, kids a little longer, no matter how they are, nothing beats some Fall fun on the farm.
See you soon on the farm,
Hugh

Life on the Farm – Life on the Farm: “Firsts & Lasts”

Hidden Gem Railroad Station nears completion.
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Jesse admires his handiwork on the station. The train loads between the Rope Maze & Stone Labyrinth.

Come celebrate with us. We love it when you come over to the farm, so come celebrate with us. This weekend features a number of Lasts & Firsts as Labor Day often does. It is a milestone in the farm year, just as it is, or used to be, in the school year. Here are some for this weekend.

First – Gala Apples are in for their very limited season. The are so sweet and crunchy they are like candy to me. They are the last sweet taste of summer.
First – Macintosh apples are in as well, so you can get a bit of tart with your sweet Galas. Macs are best early in the season, so don’t wait for the rest of the varieties if you like TART.
Last – Peaches and nectarines finish up this weekend in the orchard and Mr. Allen will be moving his gazebo to the apple orchard to serve you better this Fall.
First – Blondee Apples are our newest variety in our newest orchard and we have picked all of the very limited quantity, but you HAVE TO taste them! I predict they will become a Maple Lawn Farms Signature Apple just as many of you know the Smoothee Apples to be.
Last – This is the last weekend WITHOUT Apple Cider Donuts. We are making donuts this Saturday to kick-off the fall season. We’ll have them every weekend from now through November in the farm market.
First – The Amazon Adventure Corn Maze opens to the public! Saturday Sept 5th at 10AM, you can be the first to challenge this year’s adventure and play in the Fun Park.
Last – This year we said good-bye to and rebuilt Perilous Planks, our tilting plank puzzle in the Fun Park into the Step-Over Maze. It’s a challenging puzzler that has you step over the colored planks in order: Red, then White, then Blue in an effort to escape!
First – The Hidden Gem Railroad takes it’s first passengers this weekend! This is a big new attraction for the Fun Park and for train lovers. We had this Trackless Train built special for our farm. It loads at the station between the Rope Maze and the Stone Labyrinth then travels behind the Pedal Karts to a special crop of Sudan Grass.
First – We are FINALLY able to open our new patio area this weekend with stamped concrete, new railings, new tables, chairs and umbrellas for you to enjoy. Grab an ice cream cone and relax on the NEW farm market patio!
So many Firsts and Lasts as the seasons start to change and Fall arrives. The weather is set to cool off a little for the weekend with the sun shining on this little farm in Pennsylvania.
Sure, you might have plans for some of the weekend, but you might want to carve out a little time to bring your family out for some good old fashioned fun.
We’re here for you 🙂
See you on the farm,
Farmer Hugh

Maple Lawn Farms – “Back to school – for grown-ups, too.”

Nectarines & Peaches | Hugh chomps a nectarine |
Back To School for Grown-ups
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watch video
Farmer Hugh devours a nectarine – fast.
2 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Freestone Burgundy Peaches & Fantasia Nectarines are PRIME!
  2. We’re social: Connect for updates on Facebook [CLICK HERE]
Life on the Farm – “Back To School – For Grown-ups, Too.”
This is an interesting time on the farm when you can get peaches, nectarines and apples all at once. This weekend will be an excellent opportunity to fill your freezer, get some great treats for packing school lunches, and sampling the best fruits of the farm.
But, like anything good, there’s a deadline. The next two weekends will be the best picking for stone fruits, then peaches start to taper off and apples start to move to the lead position. You have to get here soon! When the peaches hit their deadline, they are over for a whole year.
That reminds me of “Back to School” timeas the age-old indicator of the relentless change of seasons and the forward march of time. Though Back To School is nearly like Black Friday in the retail world, it’s the change in mindset that always tugs on my emotions; pulls on my brain, calls for change.
Back To School for grown-ups. I think about what I say to my kids as they prep for school, and I’ve realized that it’s good advice for me, too.
  • “We do what we have to do, so we can do what we want to do.”
  • “Yep, math’s hard, life’s hard, get over it and find a way to win.”
  • “Buck-up, buttercup.”
  • “You can’t do every activity, so pick the one’s you enjoy the most, then commit to them.”
  • “Sometimes you have to work with/be around people you don’t like, but you have to offer them respect and get your work done anyway. ’cause that’s what we do.”
  • “Everything is hard until you understand it. Practice, hard work and time are the only things that make stuff easier.”
It’s a cliche for a reason. We all need to go back to school, at least go back to the Back To School mindset. You and I never stop learning; stop discovering. Cliche, but true. If you feel like you have or you feel like you are just “marking time” through life, learning something new is the cure. What do you not know, or wish you knew more about? What interests you or excites you?
I’ve recently really enjoyed our newest farm project (soon to be announced, we hope!) because it carries me out of my daily routine. We are working on new, interesting, though hard, problems. Yes, they are hard, but it’s really rewarding. (Wait, “Everything’s hard until you understand it.” Someone said that recently…) Each day we still learn knew things about fruit trees, peach harvests, Growing Degree Days, nectarine varieties, and filling good CSA boxes. Yep, we don’t know everything about fruit farming yet.
It’s a process. You’ll find that it’s a process as you learn and grow or read or run or get into your child’s 7th grade math or can peaches like Grandma did or make applesauce from scratch or coach soccer.
From task to adventure. Whatever you choose, work to shift your viewpoint from task to adventure. It takes me a hours to run my son to soccer, plan drills, spend the practice time, and commit to game days on the weekend. The flip side is that I have a “FREE” experimental group to learn about motivation in the U13 age group. Each week I try a different tactic to build the team, build up the players, enhance their skills, challenge them to pull together and ultimately succeed.
Each week I ask myself:Did that tactic work? Who responded? Who grew the most? Who rejected the push? Did the team’s mood change?
These and so many questions turn, what could be a dreadful hour and a half sitting in a lawn chair waiting until my son was done practice, into an adventure in which the kids and I get an interactive learning experience.
It all happens with a change in mindset; a willingness to shift your mind into Back To School mode.
So, what do you want to learn this Fall as the season change and as the kids go back to school. What new thing will you learn?
What will be your learning adventure this Fall? How will you go “Back To School”?
See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh
PS Need a farm field trip for your learning adventure? These are the LAST TWO big weekends for peach and nectarine picking. Get here now and fill up your freezer for the winter. Those peaches will look really good come February…

Maple Lawn Farms – “All your favorites.”

Company Logo
Spotlight
Early Fuji’s are here!
It’s apple season.
Feel those cool nights? That’s working to crisp our delicious, juicy apples for you.

2014 has brought LOADED apple trees. Just CLICK the picture to zoom in and see the harvest on this ONE tree!

 

We are picking:
Red Chief, Smoothee Gold, Jonnee, Empire, Early Fuji and Gala RIGHT NOW.
FYI – This is the LAST weekend for Gala!
See you soon on the farm:
Life on the Farm
By Farmer Hugh

“What’s your favorite movie?”. I get asked these big categorical questions about favorites all the time. “What’s your favorite – song, movie, book, car, apple, child, instrument,” you name it! I know people who can answer – definitively and immediately – on any of these topics, but I can’t.

Situational favorites. I have “situational” favorites. My favorites depend on my mood; on the situation. I can totally get into watching Transformers, The Outlaw Josie Wales, or The 100 Foot Journey, it just depends on the situation.

With apples I like the Smoothee, the Empire, but right now my favorite is the Early Fuji.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like the others, “I’m just, like, totally into Fuji right now, man.”

Are you definitive or situational about your apples?
How about your movies? Drop me an email, I’m curious.

In the mean time, you don’t have to “pick favorites” because ALL your favorites are in this weekend:

Smoothee – Sweet-Tart & Snappy
Red Chief – Sweet & classic
Empire – like champagne!
Jonnee – super tart
Early Fuji – sweet & crunchy
Gala – super sweet

No need to choose, just mix & match & enjoy!

See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh

PS YES! We are making hot, fresh apple cider donuts this weekend…

 

“All your favorites.”

Company Logo
Spotlight
Early Fuji’s are here!
It’s apple season.
Feel those cool nights? That’s working to crisp our delicious, juicy apples for you.

2014 has brought LOADED apple trees. Just CLICK the picture to zoom in and see the harvest on this ONE tree!

 

We are picking:
Red Chief, Smoothee Gold, Jonnee, Empire, Early Fuji and Gala RIGHT NOW.
FYI – This is the LAST weekend for Gala!
Life on the Farm
By Farmer Hugh

“What’s your favorite movie?”. I get asked these big categorical questions about favorites all the time. “What’s your favorite – song, movie, book, car, apple, child, instrument,” you name it! I know people who can answer – definitively and immediately – on any of these topics, but I can’t.

Situational favorites. I have “situational” favorites. My favorites depend on my mood; on the situation. I can totally get into watching Transformers, The Outlaw Josie Wales, or The 100 Foot Journey, it just depends on the situation.

With apples I like the Smoothee, the Empire, but right now my favorite is the Early Fuji.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like the others, “I’m just, like, totally into Fuji right now, man.”

Are you definitive or situational about your apples?
How about your movies? Drop me an email, I’m curious.

In the mean time, you don’t have to “pick favorites” because ALL your favorites are in this weekend:

Smoothee – Sweet-Tart & Snappy
Red Chief – Sweet & classic
Empire – like champagne!
Jonnee – super tart
Early Fuji – sweet & crunchy
Gala – super sweet

No need to choose, just mix & match & enjoy!

See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh