Odd Job: Corn-Maze Designer

Turning a cornfield into a carnival attraction is no easy task. A corn-maze designer tells all.
Related To:
Brett Herbst, Corn-Maze Designer

LAP_cornmaze_LAPC1201.jpg

©2009 Lori Adamski-Peek Photo

2009 Lori Adamski-Peek Photo

Brett Herbst makes a living off corn, but he doesn't grow a stalk of it. Farm owners hire Herbst and his Utah-based team of six to turn more than 200 cornfields into mazes for tourists each fall.

He "grows" the mazes.

Herbst doesn't mow down fully grown stalks of corn: His crew hits fields across the country in June, when stalks are only two-feet tall. He brings computerized sketches and sometimes even uses a GPS tracker to make sure he’s cutting the design accurately.

He can make a cornfield look like your face.

While most jobs call for standard-issue corn mazes, Herbst has created some big media spectacles, too, like designs of the solar system or Oprah Winfrey's portrait, viewable only from the air. He finds facial features the trickiest. 'You only have two elements of contrast: corn and dirt," he says.

An inside secret:

Some say that if you walk through a maze and keep your hand on one wall the whole time, you'll find your way out. Herbst says this tip usually works, but it’s not guaranteed. His job is to trick you: "Watch out for diversions—just because there is a bridge doesn't mean you need to cross it to get out."

Next Up

5 New Ways to Bake with Carrots

Start grating carrots for comforting desserts that take the whole carrot cake idea and run with it.

8 Turkeys That Are Guaranteed to Deliver Flavor — and Oohs and Aahs from Your Guests

Check out some of Food Network's best-ever turkey recipes, each chock-full of good-to-know tips from your favorite chefs.

Duff's Time-Out

Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman takes a break from baking to tailgate with his friends. . .Baltimore-style.

Move Over Pumpkin — Caramel Is the Real Hero of Fall Flavor

There's so much more to caramel than dipped apples.

When Food Gets in Costume: Edible Takes on Creepy Halloween Things

As you're putting the final touches on your costume creation, pick from our fleet of spooky, creepy and Halloween-y food creations that look just like real things.

Pumpkin Spice Latte, by the Numbers

Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. Here are some numbers behind this autumnal drink's rise and reign.

Related Pages