Friday, 8 February 2008

Sunflowers




The sunflowers are bursting forth. I ended up whippersnipping the vast majority of sunflowers a while back as the lack of water meant they were stunted and dying. Reduced their numbers to around 500 and tried to keep the water up to just those. Which looks like it's paying off. I was thinking the bees from my hive would be onto them, but only wild bees and bumblebees are, my bees are up the hills supping on Eucalyptus Obliqua which is in flower. I watched one bee do the waggle bum dance yesterday as he told all the other bees the location of a new pollen source.

Eventually I hope to harvest the sunflower heads and press oil, but more likely, with the reduced numbers I'll just shake the heads into a bucket and use it for goat food.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

just wondering if you could tell me what variety of sunflower you grow? I grow the Giant Russian ones but am wondering if there is a better variety I should consider.

Thanks.

han_ysic said...

Linda, I love your sunflowers. Very excited as my housemates are buying a house at the moment, and I will be moving with them, and then we can really work on a vegetable garden, plant some trees etc. Can't wait.
Hannah

Bev said...

Hi Linda,

Hate to nitpick, but the bee doing the waggle dance would be a shebee and not a hebee.

What I really want to know is how do you get the husks off the sunflowers? It's always put me off growing them. Also do you have any problems with parrots?

Linda said...

Hi anon, I've used the goat feed seed, which is the black oil seed, but I don't know the variety. Have grown giant black russians in the past, they're beauty's.

Hi Hannah, Great! Nothing like feeling you can go hard and pull up grass without causing a real estate agent stink!

Yes Bev, you're right, it's a definate she bee, I think all dogs are male, or cats are females too. So far no problems with parrots, had lots of problems with them in QLD, fingers crossed. Last year the sparrows ate the seed out of the heads while they were drying in the greenhouse. As they are oil seed I won't be taking off the husks, so no problems there, we did used to husk them by using Trev's homemade flail, which was a steel washing machine bowl with a rod in the middle that had leather flails attached, and we'd close it all up and use a drill attachment from the outside to turn the rod and flail the seeds. Lots of broken seeds, but still saved alot of work. They have to be very very dry for it to work.

Linda

Garden Nut said...

**Just wondering - how many heads will produce how much oil?

molly said...

Now this is not at all related to this particular blog, but you simply must read my review on your book, forgive me "borrowing" a pic of the cover. Your book is brilliant, loved every minute of it and about to read it the 2nd time to capture all the bits I need to note for our journey:)
Let me know if there is anything on my blog you wish changed
cheers

pete said...

Hi Linda have just found your site so cool, my wife and I are sort of trying to do the same sort of thing, you mention that Trev has AF,I also suffer form this condition which I inherited from my father, I am currently on warfarin and sotalol and awaiting defibulation, has Trev tried any natural management of his condition that worked? I really didnt want to go down this path of drugs and heart stopping procedures but we only have one heart and if I inherited bad genes well I feel I wasnt left with much of an option.We wish you all the best with your Tassie adventure,
Regards Peter

LaMammina said...

I've heard that the sunflower roots are what we know as "jerusalem artichoke" Is this true, and did you know it makes a delicious soup ingredient?