Our first batch of seeds that were planted on July 14, 2020 were harvested on December 28. We had a bountiful crop this year and seed production doubled from last year. Here are a few photos from the harvesting process.
We use our combine to harvest the sunflower seeds just as we do for corn. As the combine drives down the rows the sunflower heads are pulled into the machine. The seed is pulled off of the sunflower head and goes into the hopper for storage, while all the remaining parts of the head and stalk are distributed back onto the ground.
The seeds are loaded into totes to be hauled for bagging.
Once they reach the bagging facility they are unloaded from the totes into the cleaner. They are ran through the cleaner that has a bunch of screens that shake back and forth to remove any small seeds, parts of the stalk and head that might have made it through and any other material other than the sunflower seeds. Once clean they are bagged, sealed and labeled with our labels. We stack 48 bags to a pallet and shrink wrap them so they can be delivered to all of our distributors. Seed is available in 20 pound bags for $15 at Northwest Hardware locations, Ikenberry Orchards in Daleville, The Best Place Antique Store in Buchanan, Rockingham Coop in Troutville and
Brughs Mill Country Store in Fincastle.