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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Fruits of our Labor - 2012 (Harvests #7)

"There is nothing more exciting and happy moment than when you see your plants growing and bearing fruits after lots of hard work everyday in our country living."

The Great Gardener just planted 3 rows of these wonderful sunflower plants.  This is our first time to plant them and they really look sooooo beautiful as shown in the pictures below.

SUNFLOWER PLANTS (2nd variety)

SUNFLOWER PLANT (1st variety)
I was so lucky to take a close picture of this beautiful sunflower plant because it is not as tall as the one shown below.  It is the first sunflower plant to bloom in its area. When it first appeared, I really felt so happy, excited, and talked to her, as if I was talking to a real person and saying, “Hello, Mrs. Sunflower.  You are so beautiful.  Your beauty really impresses me. I’m really lucky to have you in the garden.”  Her face looks like the face of a glowing sun while the other one above is different.  Which one looks  more beautiful? Ooops, I'm not playing favorites here, am I?     (-.-)

This is the tallest and biggest sunflower plant in the field and much taller than the Great Gardener who stands 6’2 feet tall. It stands so tall and so proud of its beauty.  I had a hard time taking a close picture of it because of its height. Sorry, I wasn’t born so tall. Whether they are far or close, I repeat - they are really sooooo beautiful, aren’t they?  (-.-)

It doesn’t take too long to maintain the beauty of this wonderful sunflower plant.  They have started to droop as shown in the picture above. The weight of the seeds as they begin to develop and mature makes the sunflower plant droop.

Let us take a closer look at what’s going on in the innermost part of the sunflower plant.  Can you see the seeds well with color violet or purple?  Though its beauty has begun to fade, the outcome of its transformation is more beneficial and healthful.  

Its petals fall one by one as many seeds develop and become matured in the whole face of the plant.  The stages of transformation in sunflower plant before harvests can be seen in the following pictures below:  




SUNFLOWER PLANT (before harvest - 1st variety)
I let the sunflower gets dry while on the stem and wait till the seeds look fully matured.  The back of the sunflower turns brown and withered.  Its seeds become hard to touch and very visible already. When this happens, it is time to harvest.   Ooops! Beware of bugs and insects that are in it before you cut the stem.  Cut the stem 12 inches from the plant.   Have two small buckets to put your seeds. One bucket for the big, good seeds and the other for the small, bad seeds and a cutter. See the big, good seeds I got!    (-.-)

SUNFLOWER SEEDS (1st variety)
Sunflower seeds are an exceptional source of *Vitamin E which provides cardiovascular benefits as well as anti-inflammatory effects and skin protection. They are also a good source of selenium which provides for cancer prevention.  They are also rich in magnesium which is vital for bone health and good for the nerves.

AFTER THE HARVEST (1st variety)
This is what it looks like of the sunflower after harvesting the seeds.  Not all seeds in it are good seeds especially the ones in the center of the plant.  There are different varieties of seeds.  See the type and color differences from the other one below. 

SUNFLOWER PLANT (before harvest - 2nd variety)
This giant and the tallest sunflower plant measures 34 ¾ inches in circumference and 13 inches in diameter.   It got lots of seeds in it, but again, not all seed in it are good seeds.  I have to separate the big seeds from the small seeds and the good seeds from the bad seeds.  I reserve the small seeds for the birds and the big, good ones for roasting.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS (2nd variety)

AFTER THE HARVEST (2nd variety)
This is something a wonderful experience to learn about this amazing, beautiful sunflower plant. Though there were times I was threatened by a bee, I didn’t stop exploring about them. Their differences in shape, kind of shell , and color don’t matter.  The most important thing is their healthful benefits you can get out of the seeds.  I’m going to prepare these seeds for roasting now.  It takes a lot of time to do this.

Please see Mom's Oven - How to Roast Sunflower Seeds

What's your problem, Mrs. Sunflower? Sorry, she doesn't want to answer. Plants sometimes feel depressed that it can reflect on the bearing of its fruits or flowers.  That’s why I believe I have to talk to them to lighten up their day as I visit them in the garden everyday. I'm really wondering why it happened like that? Since the Welder had left to work in Virginia, I have taken the responsibility of watering them everyday.  Why do you think it is pouting? Could it be that she missed the Great Gardener?  Ooops, I'm not getting jealous. It didn’t produce good seeds later.  It looks like she has set of eyes looking at me or you in this picture? What do you think?  (-.-)

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