Dateline: 3 September 2015
I've grown sunflowers in years past but I've never taken the time to harvest the seed heads before the mice and birds get to them. This year, however, I want the seeds.
So I looked up online when the right time to harvest sunflowers is. I now understand that it is when the flower heads bow down, the petals die, and the back of the flower heads begin to yellow. Most of my sunflowers are at that point.
I think that when you can easily rub off the vegetation over the seeds, as shown above, that must also be a sign of maturity.
With that in mind, I've cut off most of the big flower heads, rubbed off the vegetative covering (does someone know the technical term for the covering?), and am going to hang the seed heads under the porch roof of my workshop to further dry down.
I opened a seed to check it out, and I'm pleased with what I found inside...
Now, my question is... Who can give me some advice on how to put the seeds to good human-food use? Or, more specifically, has anyone reading this raised sunflowers to eat, and, if so, is there an easy way to process them to get the seeds out of the shells? I could look this up online too, but I have a feeling that readers of this blog will have some useful insights.
Honeybees on a Sunflower
Early last month, when my sunflowers were in the prime of their life, enjoying their season in the sun, I noticed the sunflower above, with ten honeybees in it.
There was a lot of energy and excitement in the moment I captured that scene The honeybees, their pollen baskets (corbicula) visibly full and bright, seemed enraptured in their work.
I felt kind of enraptured myself. The reason being, we rarely see honeybees anymore around here. Fact is, that little cluster of honeybees was the first of any honeybees I sighted this year around my garden.
With few-to-no honeybees, it looks to me like the bumblebee population has increased, and, thankfully, they seem to be doing a very good job at pollinating.
Have you noticed a decrease in honeybees in your garden this year?