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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.


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.


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.

Audrey loved playing with the seeds and I felt good about getting something done, while teaching her about something so amazing that God created.


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!


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!


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.

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?

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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