Lacombe-area farm aiming high with corn maze
An aerial photo shows the Kraay Family Farm's corn maze, featuring a giant QR code - linking users to the website for the farm. Supplied.
It’s an unusual job, but important – especially for an annual event known not only for its artistry, but for ‘losing’ visitors in a field of corn.
The Kraay family has been coming up with original designs for its annual corn mazes for more than a decade, but it’s a job that’s become more and more difficult over the years.
In the past, the maze had featured country music star Paul Brandt, logos of the Edmonton Oilers and Eskimos, and the Calgary Stampeders and Flames, outlines of Canada and Alberta, and last year they marked the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour with a likeness of Hansen.
However, the family had hit a block when it came to their 2012 maze.
“This is our 13th year - so every year we look for a different design and we were kind of having some trouble thinking of something new,” Rachel Kraay said from the Lacombe-area farm.
Inspiration came from a quiet moment for Kraay.
“I was just relaxing, reading a magazine and saw a whole bunch of QR codes and I thought, you know, it looked a whole lot like a maze I wonder if we can make one.”
The Kraay family took the idea to a designer they work with each year – who jumped at the challenge.
Soon, they kicked off the months-long process of bringing their idea to life.
“We plant [the corn] in May, and then we usually cut it out once it comes up, a few weeks after that,” Kraay said. “From design, conception to cutting it out its about 3 or 4 months.”
The result was a massive QR (Quick Response) Code, which, when scanned with a smartphone, provides a link to the website for the Kraay Family Farm.
As for the average visitor, who probably won’t be able to fly over the field in a helicopter in order to use the code on their smartphones, Kraay said aerial photos have been posted around the maze on the ground that can be scanned.
It isn’t just an interesting image; the code is poised to smash a world record.
According to the Guiness Book of World Records website, the record for the largest QR Code was achieved in Belgium in February 29, 2012.
That code measured 1315.23 square metres (14,156.96 square feet).
Kraay told CTV News theirs is nearly 28,800 square metres (310,000 square feet).
Kraay has been busy compiling evidence, videos and witness statements, in order to send them to Guiness’ headquarters in the United Kingdom.
She said they hope to hear from the organization in the coming weeks – over whether their maze has successfully broken the world record.
As for the farm’s 14th maze, Kraay said they won’t start thinking about that until long after this harvest is finished – and the snow flies.
“As far as picking the actual design and what we want to do that’s sort of a winter project, after we’ve finished the Christmas rush we work on that.”