Our 10 Year Anniversary
Some days, we think, “Gosh, has it already been 10 years?”
Other days, we look around at how much our 118 acres of farmland and event space have changed and think, “Can it really only be 10 years?”
If a trip to the Fall Festival, Pumpkin Patch, & Corn Maze is part of your family’s annual autumn tradition, you’ve seen the changes first-hand. Walk down memory lane with us to revisit Barton Hill Farms over the years!
Sowing the Seeds
Our very first year on the farm! With a tiny staff of just over 10 people, we erected a live music stage, built The Lively ship sandbox, and installed our first Fort Wilbarger tree fort. Our initial corn maze was Get Lost in Bastrop, to pay homage to our community.
Finding Our Feet
After jumping in with no floaties, it took a little time to learn to swim. Our second year was mostly figuring out how to do what we’d done in 2012, but better! Our corn maze that year was Always On My Mind, in honor of local favorite Willie Nelson.
Off to the Races
By our third year, we were ready to make moves. We built out our concessions area so we could offer more food options. We also expanded the live music stage, and added the Competitive Ball Zone. The 2014 corn maze was all about local pride.
2015 was a tough year for Bastrop County, with extensive wildfires damaging nearly 35,000 acres and over 1,600 homes. It was amazing to see the community band together during such an uncertain time. The Great Pumpkin Maze was one of our hardest to solve!
5 Years In…
In 2016, we secured our beer and wine license. Hello, frozen sangria! We also added our tube slides and expanded our parking lot—again! The Lonesome Dove corn maze recognized the famous Western book and mini-series.
A Huge Year!
What didn’t we do in 2017? We updated our layout, added a second jumping pillow and the Bee Train, and hired a full-time grounds manager. We even moved ourselves, relocating our family to the farm full-time. 2 adults and 2 kids in an RV—for the next 2 years. The Ginny in the Skies corn maze featured an amazing WWI fighter plane!
Another big year! Our Texas State of Mind corn maze was a big hit. We hosted our first ever spring event, with u-pick zinnia fields to celebrate the season. Fort Wilberger got an upgrade, and we brought Willy the guard dog on board to keep an eye on the livestock.
Working Toward Sustainability
We put the goats and sheep to work in 2019, letting them chomp their way through brush in the river bed. We also added a flock of chickens to the crew, and introduced Archer’s Corner. The pumpkin patch moved closer to the exit—easier to lug those future Jack o’ Lanterns to the car! And the Off to See the Wizard corn maze was a family favorite.
Adapt and Overcome
Well, we all know what happened in 2020! Our spring strawberry festival was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19, but that gave us a chance to make some big upgrades for the fall. We introduced apple cannons, and refreshed all of our food offerings. Four rentable semi-private cabanas were built, as well as our new biergarten with a draft beer trailer. An online ticketing system helped us to limit attendance, keeping the Where Are You Scooby Doo corn maze from getting overcrowded.
10 Years Down!
Strawberries were in the works this spring, but February’s Great Freeze had other plans. Instead, we grew thousands of zinnias and sunflowers in the u-pick flower fields for our Austin Spring Festival.
Over the summer, we planted over 100 trees and vines, including hops right next to the biergarten. We moved the music stage over to the biergarten, as it’s the best place to enjoy live music. We also awarded our first scholarships to some hardworking high school seniors.
This fall, the maze is Hey Elon!, designed to welcome our new neighbor to Bastrop! We’ve introduced new animal shows and performing acts, like Pistol Packin’ Paula and the Tri-City Flyers. Plus, we’ll have sunflowers and zinnias, right by the pumpkin patch.
It’s been a wild ride for the past 10 years. Our kids have grown up (and still are growing up) out here on the farm, right alongside yours. It’s a place to have fun, but also to learn about caring for animals, nature, and your community. It’s a special place. And for us, it’s a way of life.
We hope you’ll come join us this fall to celebrate 10 years of Barton Hill Farms!