Thursday, December 8, 2011

On a Need to Know Basis

Sunflower grown for edible seeds, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, early August (4 months ago)

How much you come to know about sunflowers depends on how much you need to know. It's a personal thing really. Do you need to know when it might bloom as an annual for decorative purposes? Do you need to know what the optimal soil temperature is for germination because you want to plant seeds or are you curious about when you can expect to harvest yours because you like to eat sunflower seeds? Care to know what the top sunflower oil producing countries are or where in the United States the most sunflowers are grown? Maybe you'd be satisfied with just knowing what local farmers sell them as greens at the farmers market. Are they annual or perennial, open pollinated or hybrid? Are the ones you buy in a bouquet bred to be pollenless for the cutflower market? Are you curious to know what pesticides were used on the ones raised for oil that made their way into the bag of chips at the bodega and how those chemicals might be effecting bees?

There's an entire world to explore in just sunflowers. How much you come to know about sunflowers depends mostly on how much you need to know and the questions you ask.


Jen said...

That's so cool that sunflowers are growing where there used to be an airpot.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Yes. And there have been folks gardening there for over 30 years. That's something.