FEDERALSBURG — There is a new agritourism play space that is filled with repurposed farm implements like tractor tires and the tops of chicken house feeders and dozens of culverts. JZ Farms has created this wonderland to go seasonally along side its chicken houses, each capable of holding 34,900 chickens. There is even a corn maze cut in the shape of the Maryland flag and a combine slide that is super fast. There are even two jumping pillows which send people skyward.
It has two acres filled with children exploring and running around from installation to installation. There were a lot of moms with baby carriages trying to keep up with their older kids. Orange orbs sit in an adjacent field waiting to be plucked and put in rolling carts. Fancy pumpkins and white ones have proven very popular. It costs $8 to get in. That includes everything but paintball. That costs $3 for 25 rounds. The farm, at 6526 Dion Road in Federalsburg, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through the end of October.
The weekend crowd is big because people are out of school and work.
“I bring people out here, and I get to show them the farm life. We have the you-pick patch and the corn maze. There are some kids from a town or city that have never been in a corn field. We have a 10-acre corn maze they can enjoy. It is cut in the shape of a Maryland flag. Next year we will have a different design,” said Zack Blough, owner of JZ Farms.
“We have orange pumpkins and specialty pumpkins and giant pumpkins. The white pumpkins have been leaving here quick. They all require a lot of irrigation. So we use drip tape every eight and half feet,” he said.
There are two pillow jumps set up with piped in air. The idea was to make one good for little kids jumping and the other one good for teens who jump higher.
This is all trial and error for Blough and his wife Jane. He builds it the to the best of his ability and then adapts if something is not just right physically. She does the Facebooking.
He tried something that did not do too well. Shuck for a buck involved oysters and throwing axes. He did not sell too many oysters, but he is always tweaking what works. His family owns Blough’s Seafood business.
“But the axe throwing turned out great. I set it up next to the paintball, because everyone loves paintball.”
One mom said, “I feel totally comfortable to just let the kids go. I have a vantage point no matter where I am looking I can see where they are going. There is no highway next door.”
“It is like a hidden gem. I like it a lot. It is really cute, there is lots to do,” said Elaina Lowrey, 14.
“I say just let them run. Where can they go? The worst thing is they get lost in the maze,” said Blough.
“Facebook is great when it comes to this. It is the best form of advertising. It is going to return.”
Blough looks past fall to other holidays in the calendar. “We would like to be open for Christmas, Easter and things like that.”
Children played in culverts that are laid sideways and rotate on castors. These are called “hamster wheels.” They can run in place in these spinning tubes and go nowhere.
“Hamster wheel, I haven’t seen this anywhere so I said let’s try it. We are here to have fun. Most people want to be away from one another. We are trying to see the flaws that we have seen at other places we have been at. Especially with COVID, we tried to make everything real spacious. And nobody really waits on anything. The idea is they can have an affordable day and spend all day with their family and make memories,” Blough said.