Our inspiration and namesake, Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, was born in the great state of Kansas. This fertile farming region is sometimes called the Garden of the West because of its beautiful rolling prairies. Sunflowers, the official state flower, grow wild with the help of rich soil and strong sunshine–speckling the plains with optimism.
Teach kids about gardening while providing a shady place for them to play. Find a sunny spot in your yard and plant sunflower seeds in a circle. When the flowers are a good bit taller than your youngster, tie the heads together with twine to shape a roof. Hint: be sure to pick a taller variety such as American Large, Skyscraper or Mammoth.
Sunflower seeds have long been sold as a snack food and are picking up popularity as a peanut butter alternative–called sunflower butter. Sunflower oil, extracted from the seeds, is a thrifty stand-in for olive oil when cooking. If you’re in the market for bird food, sunflower seeds make a good meal–pour store-bought bags into traditional feeders, or simply let the birds pick directly from the flower heads in your garden as they mature.
What’s a community garden without a Sunflower? Towering so tall, they act as a natural beacon, calling to neighbors and friends–join us, come see what’s growing!