Farming is in Teresa Summers’ blood. She has spent the last 25 years diversifying her family’s multigenerational farm into a well-established agritourism landmark in Maryland. Known for its mega mazes and fall festivals, Summers Farm opens Aug. 21 with celebrations to commemorate its 25th anniversary which began with a simple dream.
“All I ever wanted was to work the family farm, and then one day to own my own,” says Summers, who manages the farm with her two boys. “Farming is hard work. It’s a challenge to keep the land and make a living doing what you love.”
According to Summers, she was introduced to the idea of agritourism after reading about a family in Florida who sold their dairy herd and started hosting events on their farm. The dairy science graduate from Virginia Tech further explored the idea when a Pennsylvania farm opened the first corn maze in Lebanon Valley College in 1993.
“That’s when I knew I could successfully do this too on our family farm!” she says.
With the encouragement of her family, she made many sacrifices to expand the farm’s offerings, diversification being one of the key ingredients of today’s success. What began as a humble beginning on Butterfly Lane in Frederick has grown into a popular haven where people can appreciate how a working family homestead can expand into new markets. Year after year, people flock from all over the mid-Atlantic region to experience her labor of love through fields of sunflowers, pumpkins and cornstalks.
In this milestone year, Summers reflects on the support of family and friends and past patrons to help her dream come to fruition.
“Anyone who knows me knows my passion is farming. Sharing the beauty of this farm where I grew up has been a gratifying experience.”
Visitors experience old-fashioned fun, wandering through 8 acres of blooming sunflower varieties, perfect for photographs, and exploring the joys of favorite pastimes from a gigantic 12-acre themed corn maze to pig races and pumpkin picking.
But the trailblazing entrepreneur has much more to celebrate. Her dreams include plans to relocate Summers Farm 3 miles from its current address to her family homestead. The move will allow Summers to expand her farm’s edifying offerings.
With eight weeks of seasonal fun through Oct. 31, Summers Farm offers farm-friendly festival classics, including genuine, old-fashioned wagon rides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Plus, there are more than 45 activities, including slides, farmer golf, gigantic-sized jumping pillows and farm animals. On weekends, the festival includes apple-blasting, pig races, and mouth-watering confections including homemade cookies, brick-oven pizza and apple cider doughnuts. The farm rents campfires, hosts fireworks-specific weekends and extends maze fun with bring-your-own-flashlights for “Nights on the Farm.”
Summers Farm, located at 5620 Butterfly Lane in Frederick, opens Aug. 21, 22, 28 and 29 and Sept. 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12 for the Sunflower Festival. The farm opens daily Sept. 18-Oct. 31 for the fall festival. For more information, contact Summers Farm at 301-304-3031 or visit summersfarm.com. Follow Summer Farm on Facebook for special events, hours of operation and up-to-date information.
Calendar of Events for Summers Farm
Opening Weekend | Aug. 21
Come escape to Summers Farm for the Second Annual Sunflower Festival in honor of the farm’s opening weekend. Enjoy the beauty of the 8-acre sunflower field with thousands of sunflowers in bloom. With more than 35 different varieties, take Instagram-worthy photos as you walk through and pick your own from the stunning variety of sunflowers.
Heroes Appreciation Weekend | Sept. 18 and 19
In appreciation for the heroes who sacrifice so much for our country, active-duty members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, First Responders (firefighters, EMTs, police, 911 dispatchers) and essential workers will receive free admission with valid identification. Immediate family members are admitted at half price. Throughout the remainder of the season, Summers Farm is proud to offer these heroes and their families a 10% discount on tickets.
Teachers Appreciation Weekend | Sept. 18 and 19
Teachers are heroes, too! To show our appreciation, teachers, educators and one guest will receive free admission with their school or educator identification.
Grandparents Weekend | Sept. 25 and 26
Summers Farm will offer free admission to any grandparent. Visit Summers Farm with your grandchild and let our cashiers know that you are a proud grandparent.
Scouts Weekend | Sept. 25 and 26
Gather your troops! Join us for a weekend of farm festival fun with our Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Wear your Scout uniform, shirt, sash or pin and receive a complimentary participation patch. This weekend only, one scout leader is admitted free for every 10 paid admissions.
Sensory-Friendly Hours (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) | Sept. 26
These hours are offered exclusively for guests on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. During this time, families can enjoy the farm in a sensory-modified setting with no music, fewer crowds and less waiting in line. Note that the farm will not open to the general public until 10 a.m.
Regular weekend admission rates apply. Guests participating in these special hours are welcome to stay and continue to enjoy the farm after the facility opens to the public at 10 a.m.
Maryland Pumpkin Festival (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) | Oct. 2 and 3
While thousands come to experience Summers Farm’s annual offerings, this weekend celebrates so much more! The Maryland Pumpkin Festival honors all things pumpkin with a variety of special events, including pumpkin carving demonstrations from noon to 4 p.m., face painting, pumpkin hunt, pumpkin painting, egg hunt, delicious pumpkin doughnuts and more.