Country Lore: Grow Sunflowers for Winter Bird Seed

Some people might grow sunflowers for aesthetic reasons, but one reader does so for a free source of bird seed.
May/June 1985
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/grow-sunflowers-bird-seed-zmaz85mjzraw.aspx
No need to set up special feeders. Grow sunflowers and the dried heads will provide an abundance of bird seed.


PHOTO: VRABELPETER1/FOTOLIA

We grow sunflowers for winter bird seed. After we've planted our sweet corn and it starts coming up, we plant sunflowers in any empty spots in the corn rows (the corn helps protect the sunflowers from the wind). At harvest time, we cut the sunflower heads off with about a foot of stem attached and store them in burlap bags — which we hang from the rafters of our barn to keep the seed safe from rodents. In winter, we just wire the heads to the fence line by their stems and let the birds do the rest.

Sherry Balkenhol
Mena, Arkansas