The creativity so many have found to celebrate Lincoln’s 200th birthday continues to impress and astonish!
Recently, we received an email from Dale Goodno with an amazing photo (see attached) of a corn maze on the Baggenstos Family Farm in Sherwood, Oregon, showing Lincoln’s face and the words “Lincoln 200 Years.” We tracked down Jim and Darla Baggenstos and asked them to tell us their story. It turns out, Dale Goodno is the artist who created the initial drawing for the maze, though he didn’t mention that in his first email to us!
Here’s what Darla Baggenstos wrote:
“Each year we look for a current event, newsworthy event, or some special celebration to draw inspiration from for our maze. Our intent is to educate the public about something that we consider important or newsworthy. We usually surf the World Wide Web in search of inspiration. During our search, we came across the Lincoln Bicentennial website and we were inspired by the neat facts and history about Abraham Lincoln on the site. Not really knowing too much about him, we decided it was time to learn more and create the corn maze in his honor.
“Each year we have over 5,000 people visit our corn maze. Inside the maze we'll be posting informational signs about President Lincoln so that people can learn more about him and what he did for our country. We have hundreds of school children who visit our farm each year, and this is a great opportunity for them to have fun and learn some history at the same time. The maze will be open mid-September and will run through Halloween night 10/31/09.
The maze drawing was created by my brother, Dale Goodno. He is a wonderfully talented artist who helps us create our mazes each year. Dale is also responsible for cutting the maze into the corn to create the design in the corn. This year, cutting out the maze took over 180 man hours. We don't use a GPS system. Instead, we place a grid on the field using flags to mark the top, bottom and both sides every 5 feet. The picture of Lincoln was printed onto our own custom-created graph paper, where each square represents 5 square feet of corn in the field. Using the picture on the graph paper as a map, we place flags in the corn to mark the trails at various coordinates within a small section of the maze. Once we've marked out several trails, we use a ride-on rototiller to till under the small corn plants so that the corn left standing creates the aerial picture when complete. We walk every inch of the 6 Acre corn field to plot out the maze trails by hand. It's very challenging and we always hold our breath that the picture from the air will turn out as good as our original drawing!!!
“My husband, Jim Baggenstos, is the third generation of Baggenstos' who've farmed the same property since 1918. Today, Jim, his twin brother Gerry, and their father Ed Baggenstos, farm around 200 acres. Of the 200 acres, 100 acres is potatoes (red, Yukon Gold, and all blue varieties), which represents our mainstay crop. The remaining acreage is in crop rotation in wheat or other grain crop. In addition, we grow berries, Christmas trees, pumpkins for our pumpkin patch, and several varieties of vegetables--corn, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, bell peppers, lettuce, etc. which we sell at Baggenstos Farm Store located right on our farm property. The farm originally began as a dairy cow operation, but during the 1970's, the farm switched to farming potatoes as the price of milk dropped, making the dairy operation unprofitable. Over the years, the Baggenstos family has grown chipping potatoes for Frito Lay, and more recently (in the 1980's) switched to 100% fresh pack potatoes (the reds, Yukon Golds & purple potatoes) that are sold to wholesale produce warehouses in Portland, Oregon--primarily for the restaurant industry.”
Check out the photos below. Makes you want to go to Oregon to get lost in Lincoln!
Congratulations, Baggenstos family and Dale Goodno.