We planted out five or six sunflowers on the allotment - a couple of giants that we are just starting to flower; and some of a smaller multi headed variety that are well into their flowering stage. Sunflowers are incredibly low maintenance and you get a lot of bang for your buck. They attract beneficial insects, add a cheerful splash of colour - and eventually bear a nutritious (and relatively expensive to buy) food crop. What could be better than that?
It took minutes to separate the seeds from the flower heads - they are ready to go when the petals have fallen and back of the head is beginning to brown.
We have recently begun adding various seeds to our breads, and the small packets you buy in the supermarkets are expensive - paying for the convenience of a shelled seed. The shelling is relaxing however, like most things that make you use your own two hands; and can be done whilst sat watching TV or nattering.
We will store these in their shells (they will keep fresher that way)
until we know we will need them and shell them in small batches, enough
for a couple of loaves at a time. Some of the seeds will be resown next year, perhaps we will try and develop our own variety. There may even be a tallest sunflower competition. I envision a whole bed of them...did I mention how gloriously cheerful and pretty they are?