Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Sunflowers a stately attraction

September 7, 2005

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'Tis the season when one of the greatest sources of state pride lifts its petaled head and reminds us of the simple, bright beauty all around us.

Arkansas has the apple blossom. Nebraska, goldenrod.

Kansas claims the mighty, majestic sunflower.

Ted and Kris Grinter, who own a farm between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, have grown sunflowers for years. Ted's father started the tradition three decades ago.

The crop size has ebbed and flowed, peaking at 200 acres. But facing tough competition with out-of-state farms that offer lower prices, Grinter has decreased his sunflower crop to 25 acres.


Ted Grinter, who lives near Reno, between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, stands in his 25 acres of sunflowers that he grows every year. The crop reached its peak on Sunday and will last only a few days. Several people stopped by Monday after Grinter placed a sign on U.S. Highway 24-40.

Ted Grinter, who lives near Reno, between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, stands in his 25 acres of sunflowers that he grows every year. The crop reached its peak on Sunday and will last only a few days. Several people stopped by Monday after Grinter placed a sign on U.S. Highway 24-40.

Over the years, the fields of yellow have captivated folks from near and far. They come to have their photos taken for weddings and holiday cards.

Sunflowers can be a bit of a hassle, Kris Grinter said. They're not the most lucrative crop. And after harvest, they have to be cleaned, bagged and peddled around to potential buyers. The farm would be better off planting soybeans, she said.

But there is something about their smiling tops, that sea of yellow and the grins on those who stop to gawk.

Ted Grinter is a people person, his wife said. When people drop by to admire the flowers, he comes out to chat - even if he's busy. Like the visitors, Grinter relishes this time of year, his wife said.

"He has one week," she said, "when he's just in hog heaven."

Comments

gkcowell 9 years, 10 months ago

Clearly he is a man outstanding in his field...

Charles L Bloss Jr 9 years, 10 months ago

We feed them to the birds year around. I'd much rather buy them from a local farmer, than at a feed store. Does Ted sell them in 25 or 50 lb. bags? I know his wife makes awesome home made soap. We haven't gotten down to the farmer's market this year due to illness. Hope to get by there before the season is over. Maybe Ted will sell his seeds there? Lynn

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 10 months ago

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