Getting outdoors in the fresh air is good for you.

We heard this daily as kids, from parents who wanted us out of the house. And we hear it now, during the pandemic, as health officials continue to remind us that if we’re going to gather and do stuff, it’s much safer to do it outdoors. In August, the state will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people, while the indoor gathering limit remains at 50.

Maine farmers are listening. Many are offering fun, socially distanced events, including an extra-wide corn maze, small-group guided tours and spaced-out yoga with minimal goat contact.

Before heading out to any farm, you might want to check the website for specific rules and restrictions, including information on masks or reservations. Here are some places to have fun on the farm while breathing in that good fresh Maine air.

This year’s corn maze at Treworgy Family Orchards. Photo courtesy of Treworgy Family Orchards

CUT A WIDE SWATH

Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, near Bangor, has been known for its really intricate and creative corn mazes for nearly 20 years. Past mazes have been created in the shape of a giant lumberjack, a knight fighting a dragon, a little boy trying to pet a bear and elephants on parade. From the air, the mazes look like a green painting of their subject. The orchard workers basically paint out the picture and paths on the field, plant the corn, and then dig up the seeds where the paths are supposed to be. When the corn is high, the maze is complete.

To continue the maze tradition, the family that runs the orchard has made this year’s with extra-wide paths – 6-feet wide at least. The design is a map of Maine, with pine cones, apples and moose drawn in, in honor of the state’s bicentennial. The maze takes about 45 minutes to complete. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for kids 3-12 and free for ages 2 and under. Each ticket includes a kiddie-sized ice cream cone. The farm also has blueberries and raspberries for picking right now. For more information, including hours of operation, check out the Treworgy Family Orchards website or Facebook page.

TAKE A TOUR

New small group tours are being offered at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.  Photo courtesy of Pineland Farms

Pineland Farms in New Gloucester recently started a small-group tour of its operations, to help keep gatherings at the farm controlled. The walking tours are led by a farmyard educator and include a tour of the grounds with animals, a visit to the flock of laying hens and a look at the dairy operation. The tour begins at the smokehouse, and people are asked to keep 6 feet from other groups and wear a mask when 6-foot distances aren’t possible. The tours are $6 a person and preregistration is required. The 1-hour tours are usually held at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays, including this Thursday, as well as Aug. 11, 19 and 26.

The farm is offering other socially distanced events and programs in August, including a family ice cream-making program, where people get to see ice cream made and taste-test the results. Group sizes are limited to 10 people and times vary. Similarly, the farm is a offering small-group salsa-making event, too. For more information on the guided tours and other events, go to the Pineland Farms website.

Goat yoga continues at Sunflower Farm Creamery, but with a little less goat and people contact. Photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

YOGA WITH THE GOATS

Sunflower Farm Creamery in Cumberland has adapted it’s goat yoga for social distancing. Yes, there are still goats, but they will be in a pasture in front of the yoga group, not roaming among them like in the past. But people are welcome to still hold, cuddle or just be with the goats before and after classes. The 1-hour classes are limited to 50, and people are asked to bring their own mats and water. Register online, where you can also place a cheese order to pick up after class. The fee is $10 per class, held on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. Classes are outdoors, so they are weather dependent. For more information and to register, go to Sunflower Farm Creamery’s page at the Square online store.

Spring Day Creamery in Durham is one place where families can complete tasks for the Maine Farms Scavenger Hunt. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

A-HUNTING WE WILL GO

The Maine Farmland Trust in Belfast wants to make sure families don’t forget about visiting local farms this year. So they’ve set up the Maine Farms Scavenger Hunt. The trust put the hunt together after it had to cancel its farm parties and other usual summer activities because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Children and families can sign up online for the scavenger hunt, then go to the farms of their choice to find some 30 things, like a farm stand, a corn field or a demonstration of the best way to eat a peach. Some tasks include using a camera and tagging the trust on Facebook or Instagram. If a youngster completes all the tasks and parks them on their hunt “passport,” they’ll get prizes, including hats, tote bags, T-shirts and other stuff from the Maine Farmland Trust. The scavenger hunt began in July and runs through Sept. 11. For more information, including a sign-up form, go to the Maine Farmland Trust website.


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