Photography

Sunflowers: Beloved Happy Flowers

A beautiful yellow sunflower beginning to open up.

Who wouldn’t love sunflowers, they truly are my beloved happy flower. Although they come in many colors from yellow to red as well as many sizes. The yellow Mammoth giants are my favorites, these beauties can grow from 9 to 12 ft tall. Big bright, bold, sunny and cheerful.

Large sunflower facing the sun with a bumble bee resting in the center.

Did you know that the sunflower faces follow the sun. So what ever direction the sun moves, so does these happy flowers. They mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.

This sunflowers center is developing a heart shape in it's center.

The sunflower has a long history of meanings. It’s been known to symbolize adoration, longevity and loyalty. The Native Americans saw the sunflower as a symbol of courage.

Large mammoth sunflowers center has turned brown and filled with edible seeds.

Sunflowers are native to America and have been used as a food source since 1,000 B.C.  The sunflowers were not only used for cooking by the Native Americans. But also for healing; they extracted the oil and used it for skin aliments.

If you’re wanting to grow sunflowers to eat the seeds, then I’d choose the mammoth variety. Because their seeds are very large and easier to work with.

The weight of the sunflower head is causing it to lean over.

Sunflowers are easy to grow and when it comes time for the flower heads to picked. You will be gifted with thousands of seeds for eating or sharing with the birds.

Drying out the sunflower heads is easy to do: When the flower heads turn from green to yellow and then brown on the backs of the seeds, they are ready for the harvest.

Cut the heads off the stems about 4 inches below the flower head. The best way to remove the seeds is with your fingers or a gently with a fork. I recommend wearing gloves when removing the seeds with your fingers, because this can be tough on the fingers.

Once the seeds have been removed from the flower head, rub them clean from any debris.

If your wanting to save some sunflower seeds to eat for yourself and not just for your feathered friends. They are really easy to preserve and it’s well worth it!

  • Soak the seeds over night in a gallon of water with a cup of salt. Make sure the salt is dissolved before adding in the sunflower seeds.
  • Once they’ve soaked through the night drain them off, then your going to dry them again.
  • Heat your oven up to 250 degree F
  • Line your baking sheets with parchment paper then spread out your seeds. Make sure they are in a single layer for quicker drying.
  • Bake for 4 to 5 hours and test for dryness.
  • When they are done let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Once you’ve tasted fresh dried sunflower seeds, you’ll never go back to store-bought seeds again.

         Happy Eats!

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