KUNA — After several years at its iconic Interstate 84 and Eagle Road location, The Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival is moving to Kuna.
The new site, a 178-acre farm at 2500 S. Eagle Road, is about 10 miles south of the old one. The move allows Farmstead owners Jim and Hillary Lowe of Kuna to own the land the maze is on rather than lease, they announced in a press release Jan. 3.
Since its inception as Idaho’s Original Corn Maze in 1997, The Farmstead has operated at four different locations on future development land in southern Meridian, most recently at the corner of I-84 and Eagle Road, which is being developed into a business park this year.
The high visibility of Eagle and I-84 helped The Farmstead grow its customers base, but also exposed visitors to increasing congestion, the release said. With more than triple the size, the Kuna farm offers room to grow.
The Farmstead serves as a diversified part of the Lowes’ farm business, according to the release. As a college student studying agribusiness, Jim Lowe saw that starting a farm from scratch would require diversification and niche markets. The couple scrimped by with inexpensive equipment on leased land to overcome the major barriers to starting a farm.
Working together with their three children, Brooklyn, Max and Blake, the Lowes grew their farm production alongside the Farmstead agritourism until they were able to buy land in the Kuna area.
The Farmstead has grown to a sizable operation now requiring a team of managers and more than 200 seasonal employees, the release said.
The Lowes and their staff have for years wanted to move The Farmstead from leased land to an owned farm.
The MAiZE, featured as one of the top corn mazes in the nation in 2018, will continue to be a part of the festival, along with a pumpkin patch growing more than 40 varieties.
Additional acreage will allow for proper crop rotations, room to add attractions and space to accommodate increased attendance. Land ownership will allow facility improvements in the future.
The Farmstead’s most recent location at Eagle Road and I-84 was purchased by Idaho Central Credit Union in July from Idaho Elks Rehab Hospital, which bought it in January 1997 from several landowners.
A new 52-acre office park, Eagle View Plaza, is planned to break ground this spring on the plot with a hotel, retail, medical office and apartments. It is being proposed by developer Ball Ventures Ahlquist in partnership with the credit union.
Idaho Central Credit Union plans to use 12 acres of the site for a five-story, 125,000-square-foot office building.