Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunflower farm shows off state icon

August 18, 2007

Advertisement

Sunflower panorama

Ted Grinter shows off his 27-acres of row after row of sunflowers on his farm about 7 miles northeast of Lawrence. Enlarge video

Ted Grinter, of rural Tonganoxie, pets his dog Buddy early Tuesday morning in his sunflower field between Lawrence and Tonganoxie. Grinter plants a small field every year, sells the seeds and lets the public take photos when the plants are in full bloom.

Ted Grinter, of rural Tonganoxie, pets his dog Buddy early Tuesday morning in his sunflower field between Lawrence and Tonganoxie. Grinter plants a small field every year, sells the seeds and lets the public take photos when the plants are in full bloom.

Sunflowers are in full bloom and fans don't have to travel far to take in their beauty.

Ted Grinter has 27 acres of row after row after row of sunflowers on his farm about 7 miles northeast of Lawrence.

"Come on out. Take all the pictures you want," Grinter said.

You also can pick a few without getting permission. Grinter has a drop box at the field for donations. He suggests a $1 contribution for each flower picked.

"It's on the honor system," he said.

Grinter has been growing the state's official flower for years in the area of Stillwell Road and 246th Street. Not only does it draw motorists from nearby U.S. Highway 24-40, but also area residents.

"A lot of people come out and have their family picture taken there," Grinter said. "Students have their senior pictures taken."

The sunflowers are harvested in late fall after the first freeze, which is usually around Halloween, Grinter said. Then he cleans the seeds, bags them and sells them as bird seed at area farm stores. He also sells them from his house.

At the beginning of the week, 81 percent of Kansas' sunflower crop was in full bloom, according to the National Sunflower Association. Most of it was in good or fair condition. Kansas ranks third in sunflower production behind North Dakota and South Dakota.

Sunflowers are known to track the movements of the sun across the sky when they are in the bud stage. Once the flower blooms, however, it faces east and that could be the flower's efforts to avoid direct heat.

The recent heat wave doesn't appear to have hurt Grinter's sunflowers, he said.

"They can stand the heat better than corn or (soy) beans, but they don't like this kind of heat that much," he said. "They are just like the rest of us."

Comments

Bassetlover 7 years, 7 months ago

Driving by that field each year is pure, unadulterated BLISS......and makes me proud to be a native Kansan. They're only going to last another week or so....so if you haven't taken in this incredible sight to behold, throw your loved ones in the car and get out there! And don't forget your camera! Thanks, Ted, for giving our county this fabulous gift each summer!!!

Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years, 7 months ago

His wife makes awesome home made soap bars too !! Get them at the Farmer's Market. My favorite is oatmeal cinnamon. Thank You, Lynn

ngsiahaan 7 years, 7 months ago

We tried to find it, but couldn't. We went all the way to Tonganoxie and back and didn't see it.

Sarah Tham Yuen San 3 years, 6 months ago

Can anyone provide me with the address? Thanks.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.