Visit: Sunflower Patch and Maze {Augusta, NJ}

by Cate on September 18, 2012

sf - love this
Knowing my penchant for fun photo opportunities and kid-friendly places to visit, several weeks ago, a co-worker mentioned a sunflower patch that she noticed on her way home from work.  I scribbled a note on a scrap of paper and it sat on my desk.

For weeks.

sf - cuteness personified

This weekend, needing a distraction, we set off on an adventure, bringing Danielle and Taylor along for the ride (The Ex’s daughter and Mystic’s daughter respectively).

The field is about 20 miles from our house, and very easy to find. Started four years ago, it is the largest one of its kind on the East Coast, the first one in New Jersey, and boasts over a million blooms! We pulled into the gravel lot and excitedly piled out of the car. I was expecting just a sunflower patch, but it turns out that the 1 mile wide field was actually a maze too.

sf - this way

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of mazes. And come Fall season, I avoid corn mazes at all costs. I’ve never done one, mostly because I’m afraid of getting lost in the middle.

With the kids.

Never to be seen or heard from again.

As we debated about doing the maze, the woman in charge gave me a map and all sorts of instructions. I told her she wasn’t making me feel any better.

Then she explained that unlike a corn maze, the height of this maze is such that you can see over the top of everything, and she promised I wouldn’t get lost. The kids were all game, so who was I to say no?

sf - head shot

The goal was to trek through the maze to reach this flag (shown below) on the other end of the field. About a half mile each way, one mile round trip. (You can go further, to the left side of the flag, where there are even more sunflowers, but I thought the flag was a good {read: safe} goal)

sf - we did it

sf - flag goal with nick
The above shot is Nick documenting the flag on Instagram (his view here).

We stopped many times along the way to admire perfect sunflowers, and for picture taking. Natch. We were also given a laminated chart, showing the different bees and bugs and such that we would find along the way, and Madeline had a lot of fun identifying the different winged insects.

sf - one of my favorites

sf - insect identification

Beyond the sunflower patch and maze, you can also pick sunflowers for a dollar a stem. But, the ones you’re allowed to pick are NOT the ones included along the maze. Um, yeah, we weren’t aware of that at the time (the for-picking sunflowers are in a different section), but the woman promised she wouldn’t send the cops after us.

Yeah, thanks for that.

sf - full-on

sf - full-on with blue skies-001

Now unfortunately, you can’t go visit the sunflower field any more this season, because this Sunday was the last day, but do put it on your bucket list for next season, because I think it’s definitely a fun, unique way to spend an afternoon. And I would also suggest going earlier in September for the best array of open sunflowers (it’s open mid-August to mid-September).

sf - the gang

Down the street, there is also a horse farm that the kids love to visit (via pulling over on the side of the road); that’s where the pictures from Sunday’s Weekend Photos in Review post were from. And The Chatterbox Drive-In restaurant is also in the area as well, and where we stopped for a late lunch before heading home.

sf - field

sf - da girls

sf - beauty

A perfect little Sunday outing.

Sunflower Maze
533 Rt. 565
Augusta, NJ
973-219-6356

Hungry for more sunflower goodness?
Meg from Whatever has tons of great Kansas sunflower photos here and here.

Tomorrow? Peach and Plum Cobbler!
Thursday? Book review!

PS  Want to read more about this sunflower patch? The New York Times discovered it recently and did a great write-up on it, including its benefits and how it’s helping farmers, right here.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy September 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm

We’ve done the corn maze – TWICE – and never gotten lost – come with us and I’ll make sure you don’t get lost (the trick is to take a pic of the map with your phone before you go in!)!!

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Cate September 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Haha, ok, I’m game. What is the date for Sleepy Hollow again? Did you buy the tickets or do I need to?

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Paula Ann September 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

How cool! You would think a girl who lives in Kansas would have seen a sunflower maze, but you would be wrong! Looks like you and the kiddos had a great time! Love your sunflower photos!!

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Cate September 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Thank you!

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Ramona September 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

How neat.

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Meg September 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Super fun! I visited my first sunflower field in August and loved it. It wasn’t a maze, though — that’s an extra element, and sounds cool! I actually love corn mazes . . . though I do tend to get claustrophobic, they’re just so fall-ish.
Meg recently posted..The faith of Florence

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Cate September 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I think it’s my new favorite thing!

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Jenn September 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Another place you could have stopped for a bite was Roseline’s Farm & Bakery, http://www.roselinesbakery.com/, which got some great reviews for their pies from the Munchmobile this summer.
http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dining/index.ssf/2012/07/slice_of_heaven_munchers_go_to.html

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Cate September 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

That’s the place right across the street, right? It caught my eye, will definitely have to pay it a visit next time. And since I promise Madeline another horse visit before it gets cold, it will be soon.

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