Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Winter gardening project
Winter sure is dragging its feet around here! Normally things are pretty bleak this time of year - but look at our ornamental pear tree! The leaves have finally turned colors and are just starting to fall off. It was super warm and sunny outside today, so while the boys rode their bikes on the driveway I decided to harvest my sunflower seeds. Not a very wintery activity, but it was pretty great.
I planted these guys on a whim in late September - WAY later in the season that you are supposed to plant sunflowers. But things have been so weird on the weather front that they sprouted, bloomed, and actually produced seeds. TONS of seeds. I only got three flowers, even though I planted about 20. But that's the success ratio I get on all my crops, so I wasn't surprised.
This guy has been hanging in the garage since a wind storm broke it's stem a few weeks ago. I thought that the seeds were too underdeveloped to be of any use, but when I checked it out today I saw that about half of them are nice and plump, just asking to be eaten. The boys had fun helping me smack it on the ground to loosen the white seeds - and I'm super glad I decided to do this little project outside. There are plenty of spiders and dust and crinkly dried plant bits in there with all the seeds.
I had visions of opening each seed, roasting them, and making my own sunflower butter, but after cracking a few for the boys to eat raw I realized that even I do not have the patience to do something like that. I'm super happy, though - it is like my own little sunflower miracle. I know I say it all the time, but there is something so satisfying about harvesting a crop that you've planted from seed. I'm hoping to plant lots more next spring - they are so cheerful and sunny to look at, even when they are dried up and have had half their seeds removed.