I don’t know about you, but our animals at the farm love this time of year. With treats like pumpkins, corn and husks, and even sunflower seeds, our furry and feathery friends are very content …
I don’t know about you, but our animals at the farm love this time of year. With treats like pumpkins, corn and husks, and even sunflower seeds, our furry and feathery friends are very content with themselves.
Over the summer, all types of sunflowers were planted, mainly mammoths for their large heads and many seeds to collect after blooming. Following bloom, the sunflowers stay planted at the stem until the heads of the sunflowers bow over, allowing the petals to dry and fall from the head, and the base starts to change color.
During this time, the seeds of the sunflower will mature and will eventually loosen from the sunflower. At that point, the sunflower is cut a few inches below the head and brought inside. In the past, we have waited too long to harvest the sunflower and the birds beat us to the seeds, so checking the heads daily is important for the perfect harvesting time.
Once the heads are inside, we easily take the seeds out by rubbing a hand over them so that they fall out. All seeds are collected and put in different bags: some for future roasting for us to eat, some for chicken, donkey, and goat snacks, and some for next year’s planting.
The seeds collected for the chickens are brought to the farm and used variously. They will mostly be hand-fed the seeds, which is a great way to bribe the more skittish birds into being our friends. The goats and donkey are also given small amounts of sunflower seeds from time to time as a treat. The seeds can aid in their digestion and help give them healthier, shinier coats.
Sunflowers can be utilized and harvested in an array of ways and have been a wonderful fall treat for the farm!