Corryton, Knox County (WVLT) - Has your family picked their pumpkins for halloween yet? This season, when you carve your jack-o-lantern, they may be smaller. Pumpkins are another crop facing problems because of this year's drought.
Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt went to the Oakes Farm in Corryton, where farmers have had to work extra hard to have some fun.
The Oakes Farm Cornmaze farm has nine acres, 4.3 miles of trails, and 900,000 stalks of corn.
It has its tricks...
"Your challenge is to go into the maze, find the checkpoints, and find your way back out," said owner Ken Oakes.
And it's treats...
"You get out there and is surprisingly fun, everybody in your group trying to decide which way is the right way to go," said Oakes.
For seven years, owners have tried to make the maze bigger and better.
This year, the design is a tribute to the Lady Vols.
"It's got the Lady Vols logo and national champs '07 and a couple basketball players," he said.
And along with hayrides and games, it of course has it's famous "Trail of Doom."
"It's scary, gonna be lots of stuff to startle you and lots of effects," Oakes said.
But the farm isn't all fun and games, it's also a lot of hard work.
And this year's drought has added a lot of extra twists.
"We've done some extra watering, the unfortunate thing was some of our ponds were drying up and so we had to use city water and then we got put on restrictions there," said General Manager David Black.
And the lack of water has stunted the pumpkin patch.
"If you know what you're looking for, you can tell, ya know, this pumpkin should weigh 20 pounds, and it weighs 15 pounds or 17 pounds something like that," said Black.
The farm's other patch in Grainger County had some luck with rain, so the pumpkins are brought to Corryton.
"When your business is weather-dependent, you know that certain things are gonna be out of your hands and you just do the best you can and hope for the best," said Black.
So with some faith, and a little extra water, the Oakes Farm is once again open for business.
"We've got a lot of folks coming back and have made this a part of their fall tradition," says owner Ken Oakes.
The Oakes Farm Cornmaze runs through November 3rd.
For times and prices, click on the link below.
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