Where dairy cows grazed this time last year is a nearly 5-acre cornfield maze at the Hopkins Green Acres Farm off Route 9 west of Lewes.
In late May when the corn was 2-feet tall, Don Watts, known as The Corn Maze Guy, cut out the Hopkins' design including cows and ice cream cones using a GPS system and zero-turn mower. Based in Doylestown, Pa., The Corn Maze Guy has cut out nearly 1,000 mazes throughout the East Coast and Midwest since 1992.
The maze is open from 1 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Included throughout the maze are clues for a farm-related crossword that maze-goers can play. Admission cost is $10, $5 for children under 12 years of age and free for children under 6.
Jacob Hopkins said it takes about an hour to figure out how to get out of the maze.
The Hopkins also have a sunflower field in full bloom adjacent to the maze.
Farm owner Walt Hopkins said the horse corn is extremely thick to keep people on the maze trail because it was double planted. He said it's growing so well that it would yield about 250 bushels to an acre. Compare that to the record national average yield in 2020 of 181 bushels per acre.
After 80 years, in early 2021, the Hopkins ceased their commercial dairy farm operation and sold 600 of their 1,000 Hopkins Henlopen Holsteins, which produced 6,000 gallons of milk daily.
Under the leadership of sisters Ingrid and Amy Hopkins, the 900-acre family farm – known as Hopkins Homestead – is still an active farm growing corn and soybeans, and maintaining the existing herd. But the farm is also becoming a destination spot in the Cape Region.
The farm includes Hopkins Farm Creamery, opened in 2008, and a honey bee operation, along with a three-day weddings and events venue, and another venue for one-day weddings and events along Fisher Road. According to the sisters, they are just getting started in the next phases of the family-farm operation.