Move Over Corn, Hemp is in Town

September 30, 2018 10:54 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's a fall tradition a lot of us have, going to the apple orchard and wandering through a labyrinth-like corn maze. One farmer here in southern Minnesota is saying no to corn and bringing awareness to a long forgotten crop.

Ted Galaty bought a piece of land off of Highway 52 several years ago, with the intent of creating a spot for agro-tourism.
"We've always done a corn maze out here but I was looking for something else out here that would interest the public and I found hemp. I thought what better to educate and inform the plant," Galaty said.


Often times, it can be referred to as the ugly step-sister of marijuana. Farmers across the nation are making a push to bring back a controversial plant, industrial hemp.

Although it comes from the cannabis family, hemp is not psychoactive, like marijuana, meaning it won't get you high.

"It reaps the benefits at the end of the season but you're also doing something good for the soil," Galaty said.

Because the state allows farmers to grow hemp under a pilot program, Galaty decided, or the first time, to create a hemp maze to take the place of the stereotypical corn maze.

"There are six stations out here, you go out and you find the stations and you punch your card and you get a little bit of information," Galaty said. 

"This hemp that is a food grade hemp. Fibrous type hemp grows 12-15 feet. That's something we may look for in the future," Galaty said.

As the crops grow, so could attendance.

Vicki Drexler who lives in Zumbrota said, "I would probably give it a try, I was surprised to know it was there. I really didn't know it was."

"I kind of like it. It's pretty good. One of the base crops for America was hemp many, many years ago and they decided to get rid of it in lieu of cotton which isn't as sustainable and I kind of like it," said Rex Wiederanders who also lives in Zumbrota.

Galaty just hopes to change the stigma associated with the plant.

And who knows?  It might just become agriculture's new comeback kid.

The maze will be open Saturdays and Sundays until November 3rd.


Noelle Anderson

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