Harvesting memories at the farm

Black family invites youngsters to learn rural ways.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Syracuse • Black Island Farms is again inviting people this fall to harvest memories, from the hayrides, slides built from giant hay stacks and freshly picked bounty at the farmers market available during the Harvest Festival. People can also brave a cornfield maze.

This year's maze features the likeness of Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart of the "Twilight" movie series. Those attempting to find the one exit from the more than five miles of twists, turns and dead ends likely will spend more than an hour to make their way out. Anyone smart or lucky enough to make the correct decisions may be able to complete the task in 15 to 30 minutes.

Opening day is Friday.

Black Island Farms is near Antelope Island along the wetlands at about 3178 S. 3000 West, Syracuse. It's about three miles southwest of Clearfield.

On Monday, a bus load of students from Backman Elementary School traveled from Salt Lake City to visit the vegetable farm that's been in business for more than 45 years.

Black Island Farms has opened for students' visits for the past 20 years.

Students from Backman embraced the chance to learn about rural life, said farm owner Charles Black.

Hands shot up when Black asked what plants need to grow. And they oooed when a farm hand said that geese are louder in alerting them of intruders than any guard dog.

Katherin, 10, said every animal was her favorite. And 9-year-old Victor said he would rather pop the corn than roll around in the kernel-filled bin the size of a large sandbox.

This is the sixth year the farm has sponsored a fall festival. About 3,500 people visited in 2005, and attendance swelled last year to 42,000.

Today, the 350-acre farm is surrounded by subdivisions. Black and his daughter and son-in-law, Dorathy and Brandon Law, came up with the fall festival as a way to stay in business.

The farm's main crops are carrots, cabbage, zucchini, squash and onions. The family also grows corn, pumpkins, gourds and straw for its harvest festival. And they offer a Community Supported Agriculture program in which people pay an up-front fee in the spring for weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruit during the growing season.

The family's ties to the land are deep in a county that's sprouting shopping malls and housing tracts. They've placed 40 acres under a conservation easement to guarantee that the property remains as critical habitat.

dawn@sltrib.com —

Black Island Farm, Sept. 24-Oct. 31

Cornfield maze

4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

4 p.m. to midnight, Friday.

10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday.

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.

Cost • $10 adults, $8 children.

Haunted maze

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday,

7 p.m. to midnight, Friday-Saturday.

Cost • $15 all ages.

Pumpkin hayrides

Cost • $8 adults, $5 children.

Craft fair

Oct. 14-16.

For more information, visit BlackIslandFarms.com —

If you're going

Where • 3178 S. 3000 West in Syracuse.

How to get there • From Salt Lake City, drive north on Interstate 15, exit at Antelope Drive in Layton and travel west. Turn left on 3000 West.