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Family fun included a sunflower maze in Lanark

Business specializes in growing garlic

The owners of Straddle Creek Gardens decided to plant sunflowers to help their bee population. 

But now those three acres of big yellow, and yes orange flowers, have plenty of people buzzing about.

“We have our own bees and we planted the sunflowers for them,” said Darrin Eubanks who owns and operates the site with his wife Jenny. “We got a lot of attention and people wanted to do cuts. Then we had enough to start a maze.”

People are now flocking to the maze to pick flowers and take pictures.

“COVID has been a big boost for us,” Darrin said. “People need family activities outdoors. A lot of families are spending the day here. Some even have picnics.”

The cost to get into the maze was $7 per person and $3 for children five and under. The sunflowers are $1 per cut. With outdoor activities in high demand, it’s been a destination for area residents this summer. The maze’s last day was Sunday.

The Carrasco family from Chicago made the trip from their home in Lake Carroll on Saturday.

“This is amazing,” said Josie. “The day was looking on the gloomy side so I said, ‘let’s go on over before the sunflowers are gone’.”

Josie’s husband, Ron, liked the visual appeal of the sunflowers as well as their other benefit for the bees. “It’s nice what the owners decided to do and to help the bees of course,” he said.

Straddle Creek Gardens’ specialty is farming garlic. It’s grown organically and sold on site, at farmer’s markets and online in forms like powder and salt

The gourmet garlic is planted in October and harvested beginning in July. All of the processing is done on site. Darrin and Jenny usually attend national garlic festivals, but those events were canceled this year due to COVID-19. 

“We’re hoping to host a garlic event in the fall to show people how we grow it,” Darrin said. 

In the fall, Straddle Creek does a free fall festival with pumpkins and hayrides. 

The Eubanks started out by gardening and had several gardens throughout the county. The current property became available and Jenny decided to go full-time at the garden. Straddle Creek has been in business for two years.

The Eubanks also have goats on site and sell produce such as strawberries and tomatoes. They enjoy working on the 10-acre property with their grandchildren. 

“We want families to come out and make memories and enjoy themselves,” Darrin said. “We try to keep it open for families to have a day out and understand where their food comes from.”

Straddle Creek Gardens is located at 25269 Locust Road in Lanark. It’s website is 

www.straddlecreekgardens.com.

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