At Fair Oaks Farms, we love food and flowers!  As our sunflower patch is blooming, we thought we’d share one of our favorite Sunflower Seed Recipes with you, from the National Sunflower Association.

You may not know this, but a sunflower head can grow up to 1,000 seeds! So, how do you harvest the seeds?

The seeds are ready to harvest when the back of the head is brown and dry, and most of the yellow petals have dried and fallen. To harvest, cut the main stem one foot below the head before the seeds start to loosen and shatter. Rub the seeds loose by hand. The seeds are plump, and seed coats are black and white striped.

-Cover unshelled seeds with salted water, using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per two quarts of water.

-Soak seeds in the salt solution overnight.

-Drain off the water the next morning, and pat the seeds dry to remove excess moisture. (You can also roast the seeds unsalted, by simply skipping the soaking process).

-Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Spread the sunflower seeds evenly on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

-The seeds will often develop a small crack down the center as they roast.

-Test after each stirring to see if the seeds are completely roasted by tasting.

-After roasting, remove seeds from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Then store the seeds in an airtight container for future snacking. Variations call for mixing a teaspoon of melted butter with a cup of seeds while they are still warm from the oven; these are for immediate eating. Some people also experiment with different seasonings, such as barbecue, Cajun, and taco.

If you want to pick your own, The Sunflower Patch at Fair Oaks Farms is blooming! We are so excited to share these beautiful flowers with you whether you’re looking for a beautiful bouquet to decorate your house or the perfect photo spot! Experience sunflowers yourself.

We can’t wait to create memories with you!