Friday, September 16, 2016


I don't recall who wanted to plant them. Maybe it was me. I love the way they stand so tall and lovely, keeping a watchful eye over the entire garden.

As much as I love how they look, my favorite part about sunflowers, and really everything in the garden, is sharing the beautiful details with the little people. We examined way the outside leaves are so think, like a protective shell... how they are covered with the same kind of peach fuzz that is on the back of Benett's neck. How each of the petals are tucked inside, perfectly ordered and folded into place until they open to greet the sun.

As the season evolves from Spring to Summer to Autumn, the sights and sounds and smells of the garden change too. I love that the kids know what that means within their own little world. The way Ellie laments the lack of lettuce in the garden in September, only to find the raspberries is proof. She gobbles the sun-warmed berries up one by one before she can collect a handful to top her breakfast yogurt. We can't enjoy the firefly's light show anymore, but the entertainment provided by a chicken chasing a grasshopper is nearly as fun.

As the petunias have given way to the mums, the sunflowers lost their bright yellow petals and the seeds themselves have turned from green to brown. The heads bending ever low under the weight of the bounty, tonight I decided to harvest the seeds.

After plucking the seeds, washing and sorting and boiling and roasting and stirring, I can say with 100% certainty, that sunflowers are best enjoyed in flower form. If however, the seeds are half as good as they are time consuming to process, they'll taste like summertime in a shell. Which sounds just about right... and we'll have enough to help remind us of summer, well into the winter months.

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