SANDYSTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PIX11) — In the northwestern corner of New Jersey is a patch of gold.
More than a million sunflowers are about to be in bloom heading into the weekend at Liberty Farm, and just in time for the peak, the farm is opening the Sussex County Sunflower Maze for its 14th year.
“Reds, Whites, Yellows, Lemons, Oranges,” said farm owner Raj Sinha. “Terracotta ones, the reds, the dark reds, they are some of my favorites.”
It all started with a sunflower seed Sinha planted 14 years ago. Since then, his bountiful crop blossomed into something truly special.
“They were so beautiful, and everybody wanted to see them,” said Sinha, “I thought, ‘why not create a maze? Like, people have corn mazes, let’s create a sunflower maze.'”
Every year, he carves out a different maze design. This year, the maze, from above, reads, ‘Welcome to Earth,’ a shoutout to the aliens that may or may not be watching from afar. But whatever the theme of the maze, it’s a meaningful place for many people.
“I had a family come the other day and their little girl -the girl’s older now- they wanted a picture in the same spot where she was seven years ago,” said Sinha. “I’ve had people come and tell me they got engaged here and now they’re bringing their families and their kids.”
This weekend is the expected peak bloom of the sunflowers, perfect timing for the farm’s sunflower festival, which will add live music and craft vendors to the experience. But there’s just something about watching a honeybee dancing across its petals, or a blue morning glory cutting through the bright yellow, that makes this spot picture perfect.
“They choose our farm to have a special moment and then they come back,” said Sinha. “That’s what makes us realize what we’re doing.”
The sunflower maze will be open daily from 9 a.m. to sundown through Sep. 17.