A happy place: Sunflower maze brings smiles to faces of visitors
By Betsy Ramsbotham
For the Enterprise
Sunflowers have a way of making people happy. Maybe it’s their regal stature or how they turn their faces towards the sun.
Brock and Tabitha Holbrook planted over 10 acres of sunflower seeds in April, and now happiness is blooming at their business at 1131 Eaton’s Church Road in Mocksville for the public to enjoy.
The main event at The Fields at Sunflower Trail is a maze that wanders through the acreage. There is also a field just for picking. It takes about 20 minutes to leisurely stroll through the maze but maybe a little longer if folks stop to read seven informational plaques. They might also slow down to take in the solitude and beauty surrounding them which is easy to do since the flowers’ height is mostly in the 5-foot range.
“As the flowers began blooming a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed when I stood in the field to see just how many more there were each day,” said Brock. “Most people don’t realize there are over 2,000 varieties of sunflowers, so it is also fun to discover the different varieties we have planted here,” he said.
Tabitha is pleased about a natural consequence to having thousands of flowers – bee pollinators. “Luckily they are bumblebees and honey bees, so our visitors will not get stung,” she said.
The only creature they have seen in the fields is the occasional bunny rabbit hopping through.
Later on, after sunflower season has waned, the couple would like to harvest and sell the seeds. They are also tentatively making plans for individuals and families to come harvest smaller amounts that they can dry to replant, roast for a snack or feed to the birds.
They broke ground for their new adventure in 2017. The land was originally planted in tobacco by Tabitha’s father. “Tobacco paid the bills. It was hard on the land and hard on our backs,” she said.
Today she is pleased to still be farming her family’s land in such a beautiful way and that it is still a family affair. Her son, Chase Elder, helped prep the land with a tractor and will soon plant pumpkins to be enjoyed after the sunflowers have passed. Tabitha designed the maze, and Brock is involved in all operations of the business, which includes The Loft, a wedding and event venue located across the street.
The Loft is a fully enclosed, climate-controlled, ADA compliant 4,800 square-foot facility with a seating capacity of up to 200 guests.
“With multiple indoor and outdoor options, we can bring your vision to life,” said Tabitha. “The Loft is also available for private parties, bridal or baby showers, and other event functions.”
They invite the public to come experience everything they have to offer at The Fields and The Loft at Sunflower Trail. The maze is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For prices of admission and more information, the phone number is 336-244-4535, and the website address is theloftatsunflowertrail.com.