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The Amazing South Texas Maize

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The Amazing South Texas Maize

By Jeromy Kusch

Nestled onto the 7A Ranch in Hondo, Texas, The South Texas Maize has taken agritourism to the next level. The ranch has a long history in the area, bragging over 170 years of ranching heritage. Ken and Laurie Graff are 5th generation ranchers on the 7A.

The Graff family began their agritourism 20 years ago after the death of Ken’s father, with the development of their beef business, developing into ranch tours, eventually leading to their first maize 14 years ago.

The Amazing South Texas Maize

Photo: South Texas Maize (Flickr)

The planning for the maze is a grand undertaking, but the family takes their time developing the design every year. “We don’t have any preconceived ideas. We keep an eye out and look for ideas throughout the year,” maze owner Ken Graff said. An homage to Hondo this year’s design drew inspiration from the famous Hondo sign. To see more images of their creative designs take a look at their Flickr page.

Jennifer Kusch has been to the South Texas Maize four times now. “It has become a new fall tradition for our family, and we have a great time every year. Our kids have so many fantastic memories, it motivates us to keep coming back.” She also compared the maize to her memories of visiting the “Field of Dreams” in Iowa every year when she was young.

The Amazing South Texas Maize

Photo: South Texas Maize (Flickr)

Attracting between 45,000 and 50,000 guests a year, the South Texas Maize is a fall family staple for many Hill Country families. Ken believes it is their family oriented environment and the good old fashion fun, and there is plenty of fun to be had. The maize is the obvious draw, the intricate designs, hayrides, the “Mattercorn,” a gigantic pumpkin patch, the corn popper, contests, and of course one-of-a-kind Hill Country edible delights.

One of the most popular attractions is the “Mattercorn.” This bohemath is a tall, fast slide, perfect for pretty much everyone who is brave enough to venture into the large tube slides. The “Corn Popper” is another fan favorate. What is essentially a humongous blob, kids of all ages will love this open-air jumping juggernaut. Another fantastic treat for families is the “Cow Train.” Pulled by a tractor, the refinished barrels, mounted on wheels and painted like cows is the perfect farm ride.

The Amazing South Texas Maize

Photo: Photo: South Texas Maize (Flickr)

November 13-15, the South Texas Maize offers special events for Veteran’s Day and pet lovers. Current and former military service personnel and their dependents the opportunity to enjoy the maze for free, just present your military ID at admission. The same weekend, dog owners can bring their four-legged friends to the maze for half-price for each admission accompanied by their pups.

This year the South Texas Maize extended the season giving everyone until November 29th to visit this Hill Country classic. Bring your friends and family and enjoy a farm-fun afternoon with a genuinely sincere family, the Graffs. Visit the website for opening and closing times, bad weather closures and special events and contests.