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Sunflowers......an unlimited resource

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Summer bows its head....


I can feel the summer pulling away, the bite in the morning air, shorter days are approaching, all the summer flowers are just a mere memory now…… they are being replaced by cabbage, kale, wave pansies, and mums.

 

All summer I wanted to do a post on the ‘Sunflower’ one of my favorite flowers. They are the icon, flower symbol of the summer months. Sunflowers stand so stately, no matter where they have been planted, or self-sowed in the tiniest plot of soil.  The flower heads, of the summer beauty, command attention; even if it is just for a second, they always call to me, as if to say to….check me out! Look how I am growing!

 

Sunflowers work so hard, they grow all the season to show their bright, sunny face, for what seems like a fleeting summer moment….but they leave much behind. Sunflowers are great a resource for oil, 1 acre of sunflowers can produce 600lbs of oil. The oil can be can use for cooking, salad dressing, making of soaps, lotions and candles.The kernels of the sunflower are nutritious, they are a source of vitamins, B,E and A and 55% of the kernels are protein rich! The ground kernels make flour that provides calcium, nitrogen and iron!

 

Medicinally sunflowers are used for help in healing: skin conditions, sinusitis, and leg ulcers. Dried sunflower leaves can be brewed into a tea and when ingested aid in the treatment of fevers, lung inflammation and digestive ailments. The pith (the interior of the stalk) of the sunflower is one of the lightest substances known, and used in scientific research labs.

 

Globally sunflowers are a great source of phosphorus and potassium they make valuable, organic fertilizer. The plant has an amazing ability to absorb water from soil; mass plantings of sunflowers are used in the Netherlands to reclaim mushy soil.  Sunflower roots helped clean contaminated water in Chernobyl; in a 24 hour period, 95% of radioactivity was cleared by the roots absorption.

 

Sunflowers seeds are an ingredient in wild bird food seed mix, they are a calling card on the menu of so many birds including, my favorite bird the cardinal. So, as the beauty of the blooms fade, the work of the seeds begin, calling winter birds of beauty into our backyards.

 

Sunflowers are Americas flower, first sighted here in 1492; the seeds were then brought back to Europe. The sunflower was prized and grown by Native Americans.

 

 

One of my of most memorable sights of the past summer, was of a field of sunflowers! I came upon it, while on the hunt for fresh, native corn….and there it was, in all its glory….spectacular!!!!  Sunflower Video.

 

As the sunflower bows its head and beckons a farewell to the summer, its bright, cheery, face may be fading, looking down…its benefits and rewards go on….. and on, its season knows no end!!!

 

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 Gone..... but never forgotten!!

 

 

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Posted 2012-09-25T16:36:56+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS Maureen_HD_BOS
 
 

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