Sunflowers

Our sunflower garden came in beautifully this year.

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There are so many bees feasting on the flowers that the garden hums.

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We’ve been selling freshly cut sunflowers at the market and we have heads and flowers drying in the basement. ย One or two of the heads provide enough seeds for an entire large garden.

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We’ve been enjoying the company of the goldfinches who come for the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder.

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In a few months the seeds we’re harvesting now will be treats for the birds who spend their winter here.

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10 comments on “Sunflowers

  1. shoreacres says:

    Nothing brings smiles like sunflowers. If you look very, very closely, you can see those goldfinches smiling, too. They’re such pretty birds, but often are far more drab when they arrive here during the winter months. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, they’ll start putting on their brighter colors before they leave — always a delight.

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, for years after my early farm life experiences sunflowers were bad and needed to be eradicated from row crops or killed with spray in the ditches close to the row crop fields. It wasn’t until I started reading a magazine called “Organic Gardening” by Rodale Publishing many years after leaving the farm that I discovered the truth about sunflowers. That was about the time that edible sunflower seeds hit the stores. I found that the seeds were actually quite good and even ended up growing some the next year. They grew to be about nine or ten feet tall and the birds loved them. I did get a few myself so it worked out. That’s been over 35 years ago and I haven’t successfully grown any since then. I tried to grow them last year in Terra Nova Gardens but the groundhog wouldn’t let them get to any size and nipped them off when they were just seedlings. The funny thing though I have wild sunflowers growing in abundance surrounding the garden in the wooded areas owned by other people. Their flower heads aren’t nearly as big as the domesticated sunflowers. Maybe I’ll try again next year.

    Have a great sunflower harvesting day.

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    • Bill says:

      Our sunflowers are the mammoth variety. The stalks are thick and 9-10 feet tall. They make an excellent cover crop. I just took a bag of seed Cherie harvested from some old heads a couple of years ago and sowed them in our spring lettuce garden once the lettuce was gone. The come up quick and grew like crazy, smothering out most of the weeds.

      It’s crazy how we’ve come to treat so many excellent plants as weeds. Our European ancestors brought over dandelion to this continent as a food source, for example. Now we treat it like a weed.

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  3. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Bill, with two friends I drove yesterday–Friday–to the countryside around Lexington, Missouri, where there are many peach orchards. We visited fruit and produce stands and bought peaches and apples, tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, muskmelons, an eggplant, and new potatoes. My kitchen is now inviting me to make ratatouille and a spicy tomato soup–both from tasty recipes. I thought of you as I heard customers who’d grown up on farms talk about raising crops and milking and their lives when they were young working to help their parents run the farm. Peace.

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    • Bill says:

      What a sweet and thoughtful comment Dee. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you.

      I’m glad you found such a bounty of great food. And I smile at your reference to muskmelons. That’s what my grandpa called them too (and Linda recently reminded me that we she grew up in Iowa that’s what they were called). For whatever reason I’ve always called them cantaloupes (as most folks around here do now) even though they aren’t really cantaloupes–they’re muskmelons. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. avwalters says:

    They were muskmelons where I grew up but now most have made the change. The kind we ate are now called tuscan melons in the grocery. My sister, who was always threatening to run off and get married (preferably to some guy in a circus) finally did settle down and have a wedding. That was the first time we changed the name–she served melon at the wedding–can’t-elopes.

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    • Bill says:

      Ta-dum-dum. ๐Ÿ™‚
      My Grandpa always called them “mushmelons.”
      I think someone in marketing just figured out that “cantaloupes” is a more appetizing word that “muskmelon,” just as “canola” is more appetizing than “rapeseed.”

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  5. These are beautiful, Bill. Sunflowers are the cheeriest flowers in a garden.

    Blessings ~ Wendy โ€

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