Harvesting Sunflowers

August 15, 2015

We tackled the rather large task of harvesting sunflowers this week. We have 3 sections of sunflowers. We grow more and more every year because

  • they are a great source of protein for the chickens while they are moulting.
  • again, a great source of protein for the chickens in the winter months when they need extra warmth.
  • helps supplement feed in the winter.

I wonder if I lined the WHOLE garden in sunflowers next year, what critters I could keep out. I bet that could keep out the deer. Probably not the groundhogs or raccoons though. Hmmm. I may write that down in my journal though. I was also thinking of bordering my garden with asparagus because I hear most animals do not like that either. What do you think?

Back to harvesting sunflowers:

  1. Saw sunflowers off
  2. Toss to kids
  3. Kids depolinate
  4. Any with worms get thrown to the chickens (YUM!)
  5. Saw the stalks down (we have to let the stumps rot some before ripping up)
  6. Defoliate the stalks
  7. Take all leaves to the chickens.
  8. Clean up area of bean plants
  9. Set beans aside to dry
  10. Pull the few weeds (seriously, like 5-10 in each sunflower patch)
  11. Kids take the stalks and make a fort.
  12. I go inside and drink.all.the.water.

Nieto Photography 2015The biggest sunflower patch before… Nieto Photography 2015Sunflower patch after. Nieto Photography 2015Our biggest head this year was about a foot. Last year we had one that was 15″. But this year, I think we had less wormy ones.  Nieto Photography 2015Look how tall they were! (my almost 8yo holding a defoliated sunflower stalk) Nieto Photography 2015Some of their stash… Nieto Photography 2015Day 1 haul (Day 2 gave us twice as many sunflowers from a larger patch). Nieto Photography 2015The Fort! They were so proud 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015wall Nieto Photography 2015roof Nieto Photography 2015I was wondering, as we were defoliating the sunflower stalks, ‘I wonder if I could hack a point into one end and use these like we do tobacco sticks?…kind of like people do bamboo.’ What do you think? Has anyone you know of ever used sunflower stalks for anything useful (other than making cool forts and tipis?

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3 thoughts on “Harvesting Sunflowers

  1. daphnegould

    I love those sunflower heads. I only grow ones that are of mixed heritage, but mostly Lemon Queen genetics, which is much smaller.

    Reply
  2. Diana

    Love your chicks
    Yes, about asparagus
    I have planted asparagus for more than ten years. not fenced.
    Deers or groundhogs or rabbits(which we have plenty) never bother asparagus.

    Reply

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