Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sow. Give. Grow. Guerrilla Sunflowers

We have sow give grown! 
We were going to wait until spring as the seed we have in bulk supply are best sown then, but when I showed the kids the envelopes and a fellow blogger's pictures, they were keen to start straight away.  This is a great wet day school holiday activity. To get around the non-seasonal issue we just added "sow in spring" to our envelopes.

Last year I grew beautiful Giant Russian Sunflowers that we loved, some were almost 8 foot tall and the flowers bigger than dinner plates.  The Sulphur Crested Cockies were also very keen on them but we managed to rescue quite a lot and save their seed - we saved a lot of seed, even after the children and birds had had their share.

As we have more seed than we could ever use we thought we'd get on the Sow Give Grow bandwagon and share it - guerrilla style.  Follow the link to find out more about this great way of encouraging people to grow food.   

 printed the website great envelope (warning these can leak), then coloured, decorated and cut out.

 2 year old added an artistic flourish to the inside of a seed packet


 Plunging hand into the seeds, a sensory delight (this is a mere fraction of the seeds we have saved).  We tried to give the seeds a little squeeze to check they were fertile and had a kernel inside, hopefully we haven't sent forth any duds but we tried to give a generous amount just in case, the seeds come from quite a few flowers.
 Sunflowers are not what you might first think of as food but they are really tasty and nutritious - it's also a great challenge getting them out of their hard husks, but even the two year old can do it.  The kids devoured about 50 seeds during the project.  

The seed packs sat around for a while waiting for an outing to go forth and find new owners....... 

Here comes the funny bit,  that is a picture of Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.  If you look closely you can see a tiny square next to the small boy - that's a pack of seeds.  First outing suitable for seed delivery was a father and son trip to the football - Kangaroos verses the Bulldogs - they also met up with grandpa. I thought dad would say no thanks, but he took the packs and promised to take some photos.  Armed with seed and blue tack they found this picture in the stadium for a delivery.

 Was a great way to keep the 6 year old entertained at the football.
 Vending machine deposit.  I love this one, vending machines are such an unhealthy rip off so free seeds makes a great contrast to money making rubbish. They also went on the train and left a package there - 6 seed packs left during the football outing. Not sure if the football crowd are your typical sunflower growers, but a great time had by the blokes acting in a very unblokey way.  Son is looking very proud and pretty amused. 

 They came home with a few packs so I have put some out this week in Woodend, Victoria.  Outside a disused shop.
 In  a shopping trolley (not trying to steal your thunder Slow Living Essentials)

On the mailbox

The funny thing is that I only labelled the seed "sunflowers', they may grow a little bigger than expected, like Jack and the Beanstalk.
I don't mind if the seeds don't find a happy home, this was really fun for all involved and I think we'll do  it again - maybe next school holidays. Have plenty of beans to share!


  1. Wow! What a fabulous way to start the school holidays. I hope that we hear from some Growers pretty soon.
    I have added your 'trans-plant' to the blog.
    You recount of it on your blog was fabulous.
    Take care

  2. Ahh! What fun!! Such a love the vending machine deposit - genius! We must venture out together sometime. Have you gone back to any of the local spots to see if they have disappeared? Our youngest thinks sunflower seeds taste like chicken sandwiches..v.funny!

  3. Don't know if anyone has found any,they were in pretty prominent spots but I haven't been back. Guess they won't be planting them for a while. Chicken sandwiches - that is funny? Thanks Bruise Mouse for the kind comments.

  4. Great work! Great idea getting the kids involved... I have finally printed off some envelopes and Miss M will have a great time drawing bees & flowers inside tomorrow, and she'll love cutting them out too.

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  6. I found one at the vending machine at southern cross station in july. I've blogged about it here:

    I'll plant them this weekend as it's meant to be sunny :)


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young