Sunflower farms near Lawrence, Topeka have sunflowers in peak bloom for the weekend

Sunflowers are starting to pop at Grinter Farms. The field should soon be in prime condition for photos, though the Grinter family warns that recent rains have caused parking areas to still be soggy. Enlarge photo

August 16, 2018

Grab your cameras and pick out just the right outfit. Sunflower season has arrived in the area.

Hunsinger Farms Sunflower Patch will open Friday, according to owner George Hunsinger.

Like many sunflower fields in the area, Labor Day Weekend has become prime bloom time.

This year, visitors can hit sunflower fields different weekends.

“With the strange weather this year, we are ready two weeks earlier,” Hunsinger said in an email. “When we finally got a rain, they headed out quick.”

Hunsinger Farms Sunflower Patch is open “sun up to sun down” at 923E, 1450 Road south of Lawrence.

Would you like wine with that?

Berryhill U Pick Farms has about a quarter of its 10 acres of sunflowers in peak bloom, with the others expected to have staggered blooms in the coming weeks.

Sunflowers were planted in four stages of 2.5 acres each.

The farm, about 1.5 miles south of Lake Shawnee near Topeka, also offers some produce.

According to the farm’s Facebook page, owner Jay Shively also hopes to have watermelon and cantaloupe for sale. Anyone interested in cantaloupe or watermelon are asked to comment on a Thursday Facebook page post about the produce. Cost is $5 per melon.

Shively notes on the Facebook page that Graciers Edge Winery, about 4 miles southwest of Berryhill Farms, would be releasing its Strawberryton Wine today. Shively said the winery used strawberries from his fields to produce the wine.

The winery is near Berryton, a small town south of Topeka.

Shively’s sunflower field had some rain Thursday, but the farm also has an asphalt parking lot.

Berryhill U Pick Farms is open sunrise to sunset daily.

The little sunflowers that could

An overall dry summer has affected Grinter Farms the most.

The Grinter sunflowers, some 35 acres’ worth between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, are making their way upward slowly but surely.

Some recent rains have helped plant shoot up as many as 20 inches.

The farm, which has created a big following through the years, also has been accustomed to peak blooms Labor Day Weekend in recent summers.

Right now, Ted and Kris Grinter are expecting sunflowers to be blooming for a month. Kris posted on the Facebook page that the current estimate would be the first blooms happening the first week in September.

Weather condition could change those estimates, but Grinters will play the wait-and-see game in the meantime.

Tonganoxie, which is just a few miles north of the sunflower fields, is having its second annual Sunflower Stroll on Labor Day Weekend. Artists, crafts, food, a fun run and street dance are some of the activities planned for the stroll, which is Sept. 1-3.

The town already is getting in the sunflower spirit, as large sunflowers adorn light poles downtown. Throughout the community, artists also have painted sunflowers in windows of various businesses. There also is a sunflower growing contest.

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