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Cut-your-own sunflowers growing in popularity in Northeast Ohio

Sunflowers join other pick/harvest your own fruits and vegetables as farms adapt in difficult economy

CHESTERLAND, Ohio — Just east of Route 306 on Mulberry Road sits Rogish Farm. 

"My wife Amy and I we have about 40 acres here in Chesterland", says farm owner Bob Rogish. 

In the front of the property, a rainbow of blooms that provides a stopover for monarchs, swallowtails and other pollinators. This is their cut flower garden. 

In back, they planted a quarter acre of sunshine. Beautiful, bright yellow sunflowers. This is a cut-your-own sunflower field, something new here. 

Rogish explains, "We put a small, little plot in here as you can see behind us. These are Pro Cut Gold and they're pollen free," which means if you put them in a bouquet, you won't have a pile of pollen on your table. 

The flowers do produce nectar, which the bees love. If you want to come out, check the farm's Facebook page for details. You'll need a reservation because this is a part-time operation. 

According to Bob, he and wife Amy decided to expand their cut flower business and invite folks to harvest their own sunflowers. "It's agro-tainment. So, it's getting people out of the house, out to the farm to experience life in the country. It's just a great way to be with nature." 

The Rogish's limit the number of people in the field and follow social distancing and mask protocols to keep everyone safe as they check out the big, yellow blooms.

Throughout history, the sunflower has been worshiped as a symbol of healing, strength, peace and prosperity. Things we could all use, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The flowers themselves seem to worship the sun. 

Bob says every morning, the blooms look to the east. "Sunflowers do follow the sun. Once they open up and see the sun, they stop." Seeing the field of sun-like blooms has an affect on us as well. The versatile plant is not only decorative, several species are edible, used in cooking, bird and livestock feed. 

Sunflower oil is light and tasty, and wildlife love the nectar and pollen. 

Sunflowers come in every color of the rainbow and are very decorative, and fill us with wonder when we see them growing in huge fields. Bob loves the reactions of visitors. "Once you come in you can hear the children say WOW. They want to run in and check it out and get their picture taken by the flowers. Selfies are big here."

The blooms are just about at peak, so if you're looking to brighten your World with sunflowers, now's the time to get out there and get them. For more information, contact Rogish Farm through their Facebook page. 

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