Hunter Brothers Farm, located in Florenceville-Bristol, is a family farm that opens to the public each fall. Chip and Tom Hunter are the two partners who run the farm with the help of their family.
The farm started off as a sweet corn production market but, in 1996, the brothers wanted to try something different to help set their farm apart from the competitive market.
“We wanted to enter into the world of agritainment,” said Chip.
The maze started off small but has grown over the years. In 2000 they announced that, in honour of New Brunswick day, the corn maze would feature the New Brunswick flag. This is what started the idea of having themed mazes.
“It was very popular; we got a lot of press out of it and a lot of people started to come.”
As they continued with the themed mazes, the Hunter brothers found it harder to come up with ideas, so they decided to stick to a certain criteria when choosing. The criteria includes having a Canadian connection, having a good image, and making it fun for families while remaining educational.
“This is the year of the nurse, so we thought we could do something to honour them,” said Chip.
2020 has been deemed the year of the nurse by the World Health Organization. In supporting their nurses, the brothers had decided to make the corn maze a Florence Nightingale theme.
Florence Nightingale was a famous Crimean War nurse. She is known for being the founder of modern nursing. The “Lady with the lamp” image stems from Nightingale's nickname that was garnered during the war, as she was always seen crunched over patients’ beds holding a lamp. Adding to the significance, this year happens to be the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth.
“Our village was named after Florence Nightingale in 1855, so that met the criteria for the Canadian connection.”
Teaching the public about a historical figure met their educational criteria, “and of course, it has a tremendous image with the lady with the lamp… There was no question that that was what the theme was going to be.”
The maze contains a multiple-choice trivia game with ten question stations, and is honouring nurses through both its theme and by offering a discounted price for all nurses this season.
Along with the popular six-acre corn field is the three-acre field-of-fun. The field includes a small petting zoo, a zip-line, play structures, games, a bouncy pillow, and tractor rides. Guests are able to pick their own pumpkins and buy fresh produce from the market.
Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, only 200 guests are allowed on the farm at a time. To make things manageable, the farm offers three two-hour time slots each day. Tickets can be purchased for these times online or on site.
“It’s a very nice place for kids and their families to come and enjoy themselves, and it’s heartwarming to see that.”
All inquiries on the Hunter Brothers Farm and their COVID-19 policies can be found on their website.