Green Pig Country Market, in Salisbury, has announced new plans for 2021 including an ice cream stand and a new maze design to honour frontline workers.
The market drew thousands to the village last year, for the Sunflower Experience, the corn maze and everyday shopping and for meals or take-out from the café. People came from across the Atlantic bubble to partake in the market’s offerings, many making stops at other businesses in the village while they were in the area.
The market had a record year in 2020. “I hope we get to have another year like last year,” said Dawn Beckwith Corrigan, owner of the Green Pig Country Market, which is visible from the Moncton side of the Trans-Canada Highway and the off-ramps at the Salisbury exit.
The ice cream stand, which will be next to the corn maze, is something that has been in the cards for some time, said Beckwith Corrigan. “We’re always trying to add,” she said. She is hoping to support local in the market’s ice cream offerings, she said.
The market has also just announced the design for the 2021 corn maze as: Heroes Among Us. Steve Gallant, a partner of the Green Pig Country Market, who is responsible for the maze and the Sunflower Experience, said they were looking for a way to honour frontline workers. The design features images of a health care worker, a firefighter and a police officer.
It isn’t the first creative design, some of Gallant’s favourite past designs over the years include a zombie theme and a giant sunflower.
Designing a corn maze is no small task and needs to be prepared months in advance.
There will probably be approximately 600,000 plants, said Gallant.
They will start planting June 1 and will plant the whole field, he said.
July 1 they will start cutting out the intended maze design. This occurs using GPS technology that is attached to a small tracker telling the tracker where to go to cut out the design, he said.
In late July, the tractor will return to cut again, he said.
In August, the team will be getting signs ready throughout the maze that relate to clues that are in the same theme as the maze, he said.
The maze should be ready to open on September 1, he said.
Even with COVID-19 restrictions, the maze was a great outdoor destination, but he said he is hopeful there will be less restrictions this year.
The Sunflower Experience is also preparing its return, he said, with seeds already starting to arrive. Sunflower seed planting will begin in May.
There are new colours, varieties and shapes this year, with some 250,000 blooms expected, with plans to have 34 varieties of sunflowers.
Different varieties bloom at different times, so timing the planting to get it just right that they all bloom during the August festival is no easy task.
“Everyone loves a sunflower,” said Gallant, but the impact of the activities of the Green Pig Country Market are not as fleeting as the flowers, or the ice cream cones. Many businesses the Times & Transcript spoke to in 2020 said customers from out of town popped into their businesses after coming to attend events at the Green Pig Country Market.
“We’re glad we can be an important part of the village and make an economic impact,” said Gallant.
Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal