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School farm offers corny & a-mazing fun times

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School farm offers corny & a-mazing fun times

Manteca Unified FFA students make their way through the corn maze at the school farm that is part of the Manteca Unified Student Trust farm project that also includes a pumpkin patch.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED October 9, 2009 2:32 a.m.
The pumpkin patch and corn maze is just one of several student farm projects benefiting the Manteca Unified Student Trust Foundation.

Involved are 25 after-school students from the district’s farm skills and ag entrepreneur classes.

Since August, they’ve had a hand in the plans and designs of the two corn mazes located on three acres of the school farm, according to instructor Ryan Costa.

“I’ve already been through both corn mazes 12 times,” said Marnea Acosta on Thursday.

The Manteca High student and East Union High’s Jennifer Roberts were designated group leaders, respectively, of the farm skills and ag entrepreneurs classes.

They opened last week to sparse attendance.

Acosta and Roberts, however, are hoping to see a turnaround in the coming weeks.

“We did pretty well with our pumpkin sales,” said Acosta.

The corn maze is designed specifically for youngsters age  10 and under – included is a scavenger hunt, with those kids finding all eight items in the maze earning a prize – and pumpkin patch are accessible via the district office complex parking lot at 2271 W. Louise Ave., and is open every Friday (1:30 p.m. through dusk) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for the exception of Halloween throughout this month.

Cost is $3 for youngsters age 2 and older. Those  year-old and younger will be admitted free.

Pumpkins of all sizes along with decorative pieces such as wheat bundles, mini pumpkins and ornamental gourds are among the items available for sale.

Youngsters can also enjoy face painting along with arts and crafts, petting zoo, and pumpkin carving and tattooing.

Costa noted that students, for their efforts, are paid after all the bills are taken care up front, with a portion of the proceeds going to the MUST Foundation.

“We’ve been doing the corn maze here for the past four years,” he said.

The corn maze will remain intact for AgVenture. The field trip for area third-grade students is scheduled for Nov. 4.

After that, the corn from the maze will be picked and hauled off by a local dairyman and used specifically for cattle feed, Costa said.

Next month, the farm project students will begin work on their vegetable subscription service, using the area of the school farm just east of the corn maze.

Other endeavors scheduled for the school year include the pheasant and rabbit tree projects.

For more information, call the district office at (209) 825-3200 or log on to the MUSD website, www.mantecausd.net.
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