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Friday, July 22, 2022

Sunflowers Are Great!

I love sunflowers. Every time I have a place where I can grow a garden I plant sunflowers and
maize...usually side-by-side. My late father, a 4th generation farmer in Missouri, wouldn't allow me to grow them when I was a kid because he said they would 'escape' and grow wild on the farm. I still can't figure out the problem there. The plants are edible for livestock, and squirrels tend to eat most if not all of the seeds produced if the plants are unattended. Aside from use as decoration and for food (and oil!), sunflowers are amazing at pulling up heavy metals out of contaminated soil, and are used to some extent now as cover crops as part of regenerative farming. 

Sunflowers have an interesting history that starts in North America that you can learn more about in the video below.