Focus Artesia Fall 2021 | Playing: Where Ideas Are Born

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As a native Texan, New Mexico was never on my list of places to live.

It was fine as a neighboring state, even a nice place for a mountain getaway, but not somewhere I ever imagined calling home. And as for Artesia, it was nothing more than a stop through on the way to church camp. Little did I know that as our bus drove through this tiny town that there was a young boy playing on a farm we passed, a young boy who was planting seeds of ideas that would later grow into big dreams, eventually becoming a dream we shared.

Over a decade after those summer days, Stuart and I eventually met in Lubbock and were married within a couple of years. I followed that boy all over the United States which eventually planted us right here in Artesia, his hometown and my childhood gateway to the mountains. Fast forward six years and three daughters later, and here we are embarking on our third year of Heirloom Acres, Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch.

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Stuart has deep roots in this community and even deeper roots in agriculture. He is the fourth generation to work this land. While the dream of having his own corn maze and pumpkin patch started when he was in college, his love for the farm started as a child. For a kid, agriculture means sunny days of uncharted exploration and wide open spaces to run unconstrained by fences. For a kid, playing is where ideas are born. Adventure is where they come alive.

Stuart’s big idea is now a family dream, and our girls have been a huge inspiration in the direction of this dream. Even though they are still young, they already have opinions (many opinions) about what we do on the farm. They love digging in the dirt, riding the tractor with their daddy, and checking on the pumpkins. Every aspect of Heirloom Acres from attractions to safety to the ambiance is crafted with them in mind.

An heirloom is something that is passed down in a family for generations. Our Heirloom Acres is also about something that was passed down to us from generations before: the values of family, hard work, and great fun. We wanted to take these heirlooms and weave a little bit of whimsy and wonder into these agricultural roots, creating a space where people can retreat from the busyness of life and reconnect through playing together.

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We all need these moments, don’t we? Even if just for an evening to turn back the clock to simpler days of child-like play, of face-to-face meals under the hay barn, of walking side by side through a corn maze, and of telling stories around a campfire. Little kids may not understand what it takes to make a dream come alive, but they naturally understand something that we as adults often forget: the importance of playing together.

Whether you prefer challenging friends to a game of corn hole or the slower pace of sipping a cup of hot chocolate, you will certainly find something at Heirloom Acres to help you reconnect to that inner child. The memories of these moments will be the stories you tell in the coming tomorrows. And who knows? These moments may just be where your next big idea takes root, where your next dream starts to come to life.

Article written by Allyson Joy and originally published in Focus on Artesia 2021 Fall edition.
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