By Jason A. Smith
A fall tradition will continue this weekend, when Southern Belle Farm opens its gates to the public.
The farm, located at 1767 Turner Church Road in McDonough, will be kicking off the fourth annual season of its cornfield "MAiZE" on Saturday.
The corn maze project was undertaken several years ago by the farm's owner, Jimmy Carter, and his son, Jake, to promote agricultural tourism.
Ansley Glenn, the marketing director for Southern Belle Farm, said the Carters had a desire to educate area residents about farming through the corn maze.
"The Carter family found a way to share a farming experience with others," said Glenn. "The fun farm activities attract families from all over, and many memories are made here on the farm."
The primary attraction of the 200-acre farm's fall activities is the seven-acre maze made of corn stalks. Glenn said the eyes of local residents will be opened to a variety of uses for corn grown in the Southern Belle field.
"You can grow it, shuck it, pop it, cook it and even play in it," Glenn said in a statement. "The opportunity offered at the farm is fun for all ages, educational and unique."
In addition to the maze, Glenn said, visitors to Southern Belle will be able to pick a pumpkin from a patch and enjoy a hay ride around the farm.
Younger patrons, she added, also will get a chance to interact with a number of barnyard animals at the farm.
"Farm visitors can ... let the little farmers play in the kiddie 'korral' and ride the cow train," said Glenn. Visitors can also watch racing pigs at "Oinker Stadium."
The farm will be open each weekend through Nov. 1. Scheduled hours of operation are Saturdays from 10 a.m., to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.
For more details, call Southern Belle at (770) 898-0999 or visit www.SouthernBelleFarm.com.