Remember the golden glory of the sunflower fields in full bloom about a month ago? Well, their petals have faded away, leaves have whithered, and their flower heads which once faced the sun cheerfully now stare sadly at the ground.
After they were pollinated by a myriad of insects, they began to form seeds. Soon, the weight of the growing seeds forced the flower heads to droop downward.
But despite their sad, ragged appearance, they’ve accomplished their life’s purpose and produced thousands of seeds.
Soon, the combine will come to harvest the seeds. Some of them will be pressed to remove their oil. The resulting sunflower oil will appear in your grocery store. After the oil is removed, the leftover sunflower pulp will be used in livestock feed.
But some of the seeds will remain intact to be sold as birdfeed. Little bits of sun will feed the birds through the cold winter.
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Your sunflower series (along with several others) have inspired me with each new post. I have now decided (hopefully) to grow a few sunflower plants next year, they are so beautiful, and it is an added bonus of having the seeds as a snack for the family. This may be a silly question, but would you know if there is a particular type of sunflower that produces the seeds that humans consume by the handfuls?
All the fields around us are grown for commercial use, but I found this site that has information about growing sunflowers and preparing the seeds for eating. http://www.ehow.com/how_6456352_grow-sunflower-seeds-eating.html
Its so sad to see their happy faces hanging down. But, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have the birds and squirrels on my back deck to enjoy all winter. And I sure do enjoy them seeing as I’m not much able to get out anymore. Guess thats why I enjoy your blog so much too. Animals,Birds,Flowers,Landscapes and Farming love it all and you help me see all that everyday. Thank You.
You’re very welcome! So glad you enjoy my ramblings.
I LOVE sunflowers. When my son was in elementary we put a small garden in a corner of the yard and planted some sunflowers. I really need to do that again. Hope you are having a great weekend.
As always, I love your photos. Sunflowers are my favorite. Are theses from your husbands crops?
Harland grew sunflowers years ago, but these days we stick to corn, wheat, and beans. These belong to our neighbors.