As the last matrix was erased off of the chalkboard, I jumped out of my seat and headed to Norris, quite excited for what my Friday afternoon would entail.
I rushed over from Lunt to Norris, and despite the slight delay, when the ridiculously nice-looking bus finally pulled up, we all excitedly boarded. On the ride there, there was a consistent chatter about food and farms and the Mars’ Cheese Castle that we passed—it was quite clear that those on the trip all had some similar interests.
When we finally arrived at Borzynski’s Farm, we made the swap from leather seats to hay bales. We all sat in a circle as we were pulled by the John Deere, getting to know each other a bit more and laughing at the creepy/hilarious variety of scarecrows on the side of the path.
Next, it was time for the corn maze. I’d heard daunting stories of the magnitude of this corn maze from people who attended this farm trip last year, but I suppose I didn’t understand how seriously the whole thing must be taken until we were introduced to the maze’s instructional video. We repeated as we were told after the man with the cowboy hat: “I will not run in the maze! I will not smoke in the maze! I will not pick the corn in the maze!…”
And then we were off. The people I was running—ahem, I mean quickly walking—through the corn aisles with were immediately surprised at how…into the maze we were getting. Each time we found where we were on the map or progressed into the next color simply felt so good. I must admit, it was a slight disappointment when we proudly burst out the exist forty minutes later just to find that we were not the first team to have made it through. Nonetheless, the fresh apple cider waiting for us quickly ridded us of any qualms.
After all of the teams finally arrived back, we were welcomed to a farm-to-table dinner. The farm-fresh goodies included roasted winter vegetables, a cabbage-walnut salad, and a creamy cucumber salad. While we were enjoying the meal, we heard from Steve Boryznski, one farmer in the family-owned establishment.
Listening to Steve was extremely interesting: He was a candid guy who was clearly quite invested in his life as a farmer and his family’s business, yet he didn’t try to sugar coat anything. He spoke about the hardships of running small farm: relying on unpredictable weather, finding labor, and getting bills paid. However, he also noted how in the past five or six years, people have started to care more about where their good comes from, and thus, small farms; Steve emphasized how nice it has been to have larger commercial support over the past few years, which has been driven by consumers’ changing demands.
In terms of the sustainable aspects of a small, local farm, Steve discussed how keeps principles of sustainability in mind in the Boryzynki’s farming techniques, but how it’s simply not possible to stay financially viable and achieve utmost environmental friendliness. He mentioned how he had toyed around in growing organically, yet that it simply wasn’t possible for Boryzynki’s Farm at this point, due to the cost in price and paperwork. Furthermore, he mentioned the need to cater to consumers: “Nobody wants corn with a worm, even though it’s harmless. Only pretty-looking cabbage [get sold],” he said.
The next course—homemade caramel apples—gave us the perfect amount of time between chewy bites to reflect on what Steve said. In between my trips back to get more crushed Oroes from the toppings table, I was delighted to continue to be engaged in conversation about the significance of where our food comes from.
I had a wonderful time visiting Boryznki’s Farm. Not only did I discover what a skilled corn maze-adventurer I am, but I also got the chance to talk about intriguing concepts of locally grown food within an optimal context—what more could I ask for?