I mentioned the other day that I've been having problems with sunflowers....lack of pollination. As a result, 50% of the hulls have no seed in them. Duds. Stan from California advised me to don't grow them anymore. He felt that the return wasn't worth the effort. Carol from Connecticutt suggested buying bees to pollinate them. Well, bees are difficult to keep healthy. I have a hive, but it takes time to keep it going. I don't think I want to add more right now. Besides, I figure it costs me around $500 to set up a hive -- two deep brood chambers, two supers, bottom board set up with oil pans and screen, top boards, frames, bees. Pricey solution that I'm not ready to take. Debbie from New Jersey suggested encouraging hummingbirds to visit the farm. I surely miss the little hummingbirds, for they don't exist here in Hawaii.
So why do I keep growing sunflowers?
1- For chicken food.
2- As treats for the sheep and goat. They love the chopped up sunflowers.
3- Encourages bees to visit the garden area.
4- And foremost, because they are pretty. I love flowers. They make me smile and make me happy. Even if I never got even one seed from them I'd still have sunflowers growing here. They're great.