I was driving by the sunflower field the other day and all of a sudden the sunflowers look so sad. They went from a cheery presence on the farm to flowers that look like they just lost their best friends. The heads of the flowers are so heavy that they droop down, preparing for the next phase in their life cycle. The petals have started to wilt and soon the flower will shrivel exposing the reason we've planted these beautiful flowers – the seeds!
When looking closer at the sunflowers, it was interesting to see that the seeds formed an interesting pattern. Roy mentioned that the pattern is called the Fibonacci Sequence or the Golden Ratio. As I write this week’s blog, I remember learning about this in a video from my childhood called Donald in Mathmagic Land where Donald Duck discovers the awe and wonder of mathematics in nature, art, and architecture with the simplest of terms. I loved watching that video and was eager to share it with my son when he was old enough to understand it and anyone else who would be willing to watch it. It surprises me, even to this day, that not many people are as enthusiastic about the video as I am. Maybe it makes me a math nerd and if I am, I am okay with it because the video still fascinates me 30 years after viewing it for the first time. Here is the link if you are interested in watching Donald in Mathmagic Land on YouTube (https://youtu.be/Fv4gWPurN9k). Let me know if you find it as intriguing as I do!
Anyway, back to the sunflowers and seed harvesting. Roy will be harvesting the seeds in late October or early November. We are harvesting the seeds to make sunflower oil and will also have some for bird seed. The seeds are a favorite snack for much of the local wildlife such as birds, mice, and deer so knowing the right time to harvest the seeds is important. If we harvest too soon, the seeds will have too much moisture in it and has the potential to rot. On the other hand, if we wait too long the animals will start harvesting the seeds for themselves and there will be nothing left for us!
So, even though the sunflowers look sad now, I know that we are going to be able to produce a lot of oil and seeds to provide to our community and the surrounding areas. We’ve gotten a lot of joy out of these sunflowers and look forward to when it is time to harvest and see all of our hard work pay off. So, be on the lookout for updates on the website and our Facebook page for when we start selling the sunflower oil and sunflower seeds!