Arlington crop maze goes against the grain

ARLINGTON -- Michele Frazier hadn't realized that what she taught a group of Girl Scouts would come in handy for herself.

While winding through rows of a sorghum maze Saturday and trying to find her troop, Frazier used treetops as points of reference.

"Just yesterday, I taught ... a class on how to use a compass or points of reference when you don't have one," she said while making her way through the stalks at Gnismer Farms. "I never knew I'd need it in a corn maze."

The maze is unique in that owners Lynn and Cindy Remsing placed 23 wooden posts inside, with "answers" attached to each post. They ask trivia questions to mazegoers after they come out.

"What's the most used grain in the United States?" Lynn Remsing asked a group of teens, some quickly getting out their iPhones.

"No cheating over there, put the phones away," he said, laughing.

Corn was the correct answer.

After the question-and-answer session, glow sticks and other prizes are handed out.

The maze at Gnismer Farms is one of many family-friendly alternatives to haunted houses in the Fort Worth area during this Halloween season.

That's exactly what drew Rachelle Ivanov of Arlington and her boys, 8 and 11, to the farm on Bowen Road in Arlington.

"Haunted houses are way too scary," she said. "Not too scary for the boys -- for me."

David Lewis of Cleburne brought his family there to pick pumpkins, but the farm was sold out.

Lewis said the girls had a great time anyway, especially in the maze.

"They learned some things today," Lewis said. "They'll remember this. ... It'll stick with them."

Though the younger visitors were most interested in the maze, grown-ups seemed more excited about the selection of organic produce available.

The Remsings share recipes with customers such as how to steam baby okra so it's tender and slime-free, or how to cook and serve sunchokes.

The farm has evolved since the couple started it 15 years ago, originally growing and selling cantaloupes as a way to teach their children business.

"I just love growing things," Lynn Remsing said. "And I like people."

Frazier's Girl Scout troop came to the farm as part of a project to learn how about the logistics of food, how it goes from the ground to the table.

Girl Scout Madeline Mendoza, a freshman at Lamar High School in Arlington, videotaped her group finding its way around the maze.

"It was kind of cool," she said. "Except it was kind of itchy and I got hit in the face a lot [by the stalks]."