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The Sunflower Harvest

October 14, 2013

A few days ago I had a nice, descriptive post all written up about our sunflower harvest. I was feeling good about getting something other than school accomplished but somewhere between skyping with my parents and Audrey’s nimble little fingers that post disappeared. So, here I go again trying to re conjure up what I had written. Let’s hope Audrey stays asleep until I have clicked “publish” this time! Oh the joys of mother hood.

Anyway, back to the subject. We enjoyed some beautiful, mammoth sunflowers this summer. They didn’t last long enough! About 3  weeks ago when monsoon season began to wane, they began to hang their heads. At our house we all start to look a little bit more dismal when the rain stops. I for one start drying up like a lizard and that’s when I really know it’s over. The rain is one thing I will forever miss as long as we are in Arizona. The sunflowers began to become more and more of an eyesore and when I finally got some time and felt motivated enough, I went out and chopped them down!  (uh oh I hear the my little spider monkey waking up)  I read to harvest them when the backs of their heads start to turn brown. Some of our sunflowers were  brown and some of them weren’t, but I’m not a patient person so I went ahead and cut them all down at once.

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Then we began to harvest the seeds. We read to extract the seeds with a spoon or a knife, but we found that it was faster to just do it with our hands. Our  fingers were a little bit sore afterwards.

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If you have kids this is a wonderful activity to do with them. That is, if you don’t mind a few interruptions, and some messes. If you have kids I probably didn’t even need to warn you about that.
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Audrey loved playing with the seeds and I felt good about getting something done, while teaching her about something so amazing that God created.

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This was the biggest sunflower we harvested, I told you they were mammoth! We ended up with over three quart sized mason jars full of seeds!

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It was a fun, outdoor activity and Audrey really seemed  to enjoy the experience. She also claimed a jar of seeds for herself, although I didn’t let her keep it very long for the obvious reason that is glass!

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I was reading a children’s gardening book and it suggested a wonderful idea of planting a “sunflower house” so I am hoping to try that next summer when Audrey is even more into imaginative play. She wasn’t quite ready for it this year.
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I did roast some of the seeds and they have made a yummy study snack. I pull them out when I need something to keep me awake while studying pharmacology and trying to keep all of those drug names straight in my head.

To roast the seeds I first soaked them in salt water. If you plan to make some be sure to cover the seeds with water and put about 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of salt. Soak them overnight. In the morning preheat the oven to 300 , drain the seeds, pat them dry, and then spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 30-40 minutes . It’s pretty simple if you ask me! I am looking forward to roasting some different flavors in the near future. I’m going to try lime flavor with my next batch! Do you have any fun sunflower suggestions?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 1, 2013 7:16 PM

    i (thought i) left a comment already! giant sunflowers (& the seeds thereof) have always fascinated me! thanks for tellin’ about it!

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