We Sahls are proud of our farming heritage. Our farm, dating back to 1867, has seen many transitions over the years: from Andrew Sahl’s clearing the land for his newly immigrated family with little more than horses and hand labor, to the moments the old homestead was wired for electric lights and Joseph Sahl I brought home his first honest to goodness tractor. Our farm at one time or another has been home to an orchard, a wide variety of produce, grains, and yes, lots of pumpkins.
In the 1970’s the Sahl Farm began potato production. Our farm’s Father Son “Superior” potatoes were some of the most popular variety of potatoes on the local market at the time. The farm was experiencing a little success in agriculture and all the young grand-Sahls found their first jobs packing potatoes, and driving tractors.
Then, in the late 1990’s, the potato industry plummeted. Around the same time, the Sahl grandchildren began to enter and graduate from college one by one, entering the business world for themselves. Suddenly, corn became the crop of choice: one that, while providing a very low profit margin, required less manpower than potatoes and other produce and was thus more manageable. The farm was maintained, but it just wasn’t experiencing the growth and success it once had.
The turn of the millennium brought an economy that seemed to be against family farms, and we began to be concerned about the future of ours. Finally, in 2008, Jeremy (one of those grand-Sahls mentioned above) decided he wanted to give his kids the kind of memories on this farm that he had growing up. But there needed to be a farm for memory making if that was going to happen. So be it then. He had a goal, and we were going back into full time agriculture.
There were decisions to be made. Lots of catching up would have to be done. Grain and soybeans would still be the crops of choice since he would be working the land mostly on his own. But Jeremy was up to the challenge of making this little plot of land carry its weight. In order to bring the farm up to speed to support his growing young family, he felt it necessary to open to the public to draw more attention to the crops he would be growing. Along with his wife, Melodie, they pursued opening a corn maze attraction in addition to growing marketable crops. With the help of a corn maze consulting company called The MAiZE, their first corn maze appeared in 2009 in the shape of the Philadelphia Eagles logo, and . . . well, the rest is history.
Today, our farm is once again looking forward to a bright future in agriculture. We are celebrating our 5th year being open to the public, and we aren’t looking back. We are enjoying every moment raising the next generation to love this land as their fathers have.
As family run farms around the country begin to dwindle and disappear, we hope our little beacon of rural country life will offer you a mini escape from the urban rat race. So as the leaves begin to change this fall, come take a few moments to watch your kids laugh and run in the great outdoors. In fact, why not take a walk through a corn maze, ride a hay wagon, and pick a pumpkin while you’re at it?
For more information, give us a call at (609) 965-9300 or click here for directions.