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Monday, September 27, 2010
Wagner Farm Family Has Been in Corrales for A Very Long Time
By Elaine D. Briseño
Journal Staff Writer
CORRALES — More than a hundred years ago, Augustine Wagner came to America from Germany, married area native Trinidad Sanchez and settled down in a fertile valley that is now the village of Corrales.
In 1910, the two started farming their land and their descendants carry on that tradition in Corrales to this day. The Wagner family had started a new Corrales tradition by opening up a six-acre corn maze on the west side of Corrales Road, which opens for its sixth season Saturday. This year, the Wagner family is expanding their operation south to Los Lunas, where it will open a 14-acre corn maze on Oct. 1 near the Walmart off Interstate 25.
Jimmy Wagner said the family is lucky to still be able to make a living as farmers, but it's difficult. They attended a convention and heard about using corn mazes to generate more revenue.
"It's hard to do just farming alone," he said. "The corn maze is fun and we really enjoy it. We like teaching the kids about farming."
There's more to enjoy than a stroll through the corn. There will 30-minute educational classes about farming, a petting zoo, hayrides, an apple orchards tour, a play area and a pumpkin patch.
This year will celebrate the family's 100 years of farming in the village with a maze that features a birthday cake, a cow and the Wagner name. Jimmy Wagner said the family farms about 100 acres in Corrales, mostly fruits and vegetables. He farms with is wife Roxanne, brother Bobby, father Gus and other family members.
"We just love it," he said. "It's in our blood and we love working hard."
They also started farming in Los Lunas and will have a maze there for the first time this year. It will be bigger than the Corrales maze and over the years the family intends to add fruit orchards, fields of chile, a petting zoo, demonstration gardens, bee keeping and playgrounds.
Meanwhile, the Rio Grande Community Farm opened its seven-acre Maize Maze in the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space off Montaño. Maize is the Spanish word for corn.
"Coyote Magic" is the theme of this year's Maize Maze and features a coyote image that was designed by award-winning author and illustrator Gerald McDermott. The maze is open weeknights and during the day on weekends. Groups can reserve field trips during the weekday by calling 345-4580.
Wagner Corrales Corn Maze, six acres
Where: 6445 Corrales Road, on the West Side
Cost: Adults $6.50, children ages 3 to 11 $4.50, children under 3 get in free when accompanied by an adult. Admission includes the corn maze and hayride.
Hours: The maze opens Saturday for the season and runs through Halloween. It will be open Sunday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Special Events: There will be a buddy day, night mazes, pet costume, balloonist day and Corrales resident day. Visit the website for specific information.
Wagner Los Lunas Corn Maze, 14 acres
Where: 200 Desert Willow Road, behind Walmart
Cost: Adults $6.50, children ages 3 to 11 $4.50, children under 3 get in free when accompanied by an adult.
Hours: The maze opens Oct. 1 for the season and runs through Halloween. It will be open Sunday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Los Poblanos Maize Maze, seven acres
Where: 1701 Montaño Road
Cost: Adults $7.50, children 4 to 11 $4, children under 4 or free.
Hours: The maze will be open through Halloween. It's open Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. School field trips and other weekday group visits are by reservation only. Call 345-4580 for reservations.
Special Events: Moonlight maze, starlight maze, haunted maze and music in the maze. Visit the website for specific information.