Sunflowers at Grinter Farms

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Over the weekend, our little family was able to walk in fields of gold during our visit to the famed sunflowers at Grinter Farms just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. In 95+ degree mid-morning heat, we soaked in the Kansas prairie view and marveled at the brilliant crops.

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In full bloom for only about two weeks every September, these sunflowers draw visitors from well beyond the Kansas City metropolitan area. Each year, Ted and Kris Grinter plant acres upon acres of sunflowers and open up their land for visitors to experience the majesty for themselves. Our time in the glittering field further convinced me that farmers are truly artists – using empty fields as canvases to produce sustainable products that are beyond beautiful in sight, taste, touch, smell, and sound. Yes, sound – there’s nothing quite like the sound of sunflower stalks dancing in the wind.

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Upon our arrival in Kansas earlier this summer, I was surprised by the lack of wild sunflowers in the landscape surrounding Fort Leavenworth – Kansas is the sunflower state, after all (the sunflower is also the national flower of Ukraine, interestingly enough). So as soon as I read about these fields, we located the field back in July during our jaunt to Lawrence and then I stalked the Grinter Farms Facebook page for the most up-to-date status of the sunflowers.

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The fields were worth the dust, bugs, and excessive the heat, although it sure would have been nice if it were a bit cooler. There are honor boxes throughout the fields – visitors are welcome to cut their own sunflowers with a suggested donation of $1 per flower. We took home five and two days later, they’re still going strong. However, the sunflowers at Grinter Farms are planted for bird seed so they wilt faster than the pollenless hybrids found at florists, so I’m not expecting them to last too much longer.

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The brilliant views are fleeting. In the coming week, bugs will cause the petals to deteriorate and by mid-September, the flowers will droop. Before long, the heads will darken, grow larger, and produce seeds ready for harvest.

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Photo by Rachel Murphy Photography

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Photo by Rachel Murphy Photography

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Since we won’t be living in Kansas this time next year (or likely ever again), I’m happy we were able to experience quintessential Kansas. If you find yourself stationed at Fort Leavenworth or living in the Kansas City area, the sunflowers at Grinter Farms are a must.

*Edited to add 9/13/15* Due to 90+ degree temperatures and violet thunderstorms, the sunflowers have lost most of their petals and face downwards. Unfortunately, the sunflowers did not even last two weeks this year. Lesson – if you have the opportunity to see the sunflowers at Grinter Farms next year, please go sooner rather than later!

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9 thoughts on “Sunflowers at Grinter Farms

  1. Kait September 8, 2015 / 4:02 am

    Admittedly, I chuckled a little bit at the “or ever again..” notion 😉 I love these sunflower photos! What a great treasure to have. There is a sunflower field that pops up here on Oahu every fall and it’s like a treasure hunt to find it, as the farmers never plant the same field twice. I’m eager to see it this year!

    • Karen September 8, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      Yup – I’d like to say “Kansas, BTDT. Box is checked.” Not to say that we aren’t enjoying our time here (we are!) but we do not like feeling so land-locked. Why couldn’t my husband have joined the Navy instead? Haha.

      • Jen in Jersey (for now) September 26, 2015 / 5:00 pm

        I too giggled as we had two tours in Kansas and have come to love it land-locked and all! Don’t think we’ll ever feel that way about Jersey (and we are on our third time here!)

  2. Erica DeSpain September 8, 2015 / 9:08 am

    ahhhhh this makes me want to hop in the car NOW with my family and drive over there! We had a beautiful sunflower field in Manhattan last year that they burned and replaced with something else. Such a bummer! We didn’t get any sunflower pictures last year because we’d just moved here the week they bloomed, but I was really hoping we’d get some this year. Your photos are gorgeous! Such a sweet family!

    • Karen September 8, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      You so need too! The fields are beyond gorgeous and not ‘that’ far from you. 🙂

  3. Jen September 8, 2015 / 6:56 pm

    Wow these photos are gorgeous!!

  4. Rachel September 15, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Oh my gosh-those fields are gorgeous! My grandmother grew giant sunflowers when I was a little kid and they never cease to put a smile on my face!

  5. armywifemommylife September 15, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    Ah! Beautiful! We have sunflower fields here that I NEED to see before we leave! Should we ever end up in Kansas, I’ll have to search for these!

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