Tuesday, August 9, 2011

mammoth sunflowers

Every year we plant more sunflowers. Native to North america there are lots of old, open pollinated varieties, and we grow at least 15 types. The natives bees love them and are on them every day, all day long. The honey bees visit them too. There are also lots of F1 hybrid sunflowers: they are usually small, managable, pollen free (so they don't leave a mess on your table) and will not grow back true if you save seed and plant them. We don't grow any of those!

Homer wants an expeller press, so he can squeeze the oils from all our sunflowers and not need to buy olive or canola oil anymore. Anyone know where we can find one? seems like most farms used to have one, for getting oils from corn and sunflower..before big ag told us there is no way we can do such difficult things!

Here are the largest on the farm, shading the 16' tall hoophouse. The flowers themselves are massive, with hundreds, maybe thousands, of seeds. They help keep the intense summer heat out of the hoophous on these hot days.

Yes, those are 50 gallon drums next to them, also shaded by the sunflowers.

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