BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DONNELLSON – This fall Harvestville Farms in Donnellson will bring a new twist to “…amber waves of grain”.
Adam, Julie, and Kathy Hohl, owners of the fifth generation farm, were so impressed with the tradition of fans waving to the children in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the end of the 1st quarter, they’re carving it into their corn field.
The tradition, which caught fire after Iowan Krista Young posted on Hawkeye Heaven, that it would be neat if everyone turned around and waved to the kids in the hospital for a little inspiration. Four months later the tradition was being broadcast on just about every national news and sports outlet in the country…even finding its ways to some Iowa away games such as the Hawkeye’s game in East Lansing, Mich. against the Spartans.
Adam Hohl said after seeing footage of the phenomenon, the family thought it would be a neat idea for the 2018 maze.
“We thought it would be a really cool corn maze during the season and then in December we started thinking more seriously about it,” Adam said.
“So we contacted the university and the hospital to make sure they were good with it.”
Hohl said the hospital didn’t have any issues with the idea and the University was good, too as long as no trademarks were used in the artwork.
“We always like to try and partner with a local company and charity and, obviously, with how big the wave became last year we thought this would be good to do,” he said.
The entry fee into the maze, which should open Labor Day weekend, is the same as it has always been. $6 for everyone with children ages 2 and under getting in free. With each entry fee, the Hohl family will donate $1 to the hospital. The corn maze closes each year on Oct. 31.
Hohl said the business during the fall season didn’t allow his family to get to Iowa City to see the Wave in person.
“We didn’t go up. I don’t think anyone would have liked it if we were closed on Saturday in the fall. But we have close friends who did get to be a part of it and they told us how special it was,” he said.
Hohl said the plans are already in place and the design is set, now all they are hoping for is some good weather to get the crop in on time.
The farm is located at 1972 Iowa Highway 2 about five miles east of Donnellson and seven miles west of Fort Madison and can be reached at 1-319-470-1558.
Opening weekend for the 2018 season will be on Saturday, April 7th when the farm will be open weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Beginning in May, the farm is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, along with re-opening “The Pitchfork Cafe.”
Fall hours from Sept. 2 – Oct. 31 are Monday – Saturday 9am-7pm; Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 – 9am – 10pm; Sundays 11am-7pm; Oct. 31 – 9am – 5pm.
Winter hours are Nov. 18 – Dec. 23 Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 11am-4pm.