Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Sunflower Project : Free Seeds and Paying it Forward

I am using this blog post to officially launch The Sunflower Project, a "Paying it Forward" kind of effort. The project is originating in Jacksonville, Florida and looking to connect with my readership base throughout the United States of America. In the beginning, I started with a few packets of Burpee's Sunflower Seeds. I mapped out an area in my backyard for a sunflower garden. That was the germination for The Sunflower Project.

Pretty Warm Sunflowers in a Vase
Pretty Warm Sunflowers in a Vase - Sunflowers from My Garden
Photo taken by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Now, the emphasis is on continuing the germination. In a nutshell, The Sunflower Project begins with packets of free sunflower seeds which are sent out to those who will be participating in the project. Once the sunflower seeds are received, they are planted and their growth is charted.

When the sunflowers are fully grown, the participants will harvest their own sunflower seeds. And, those sunflower seeds will then be passed on to new participants in The Sunflower Project.

The "paying it forward" will continue on from participant to participant sending on their harvested sunflower seeds.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds from the First Sunflower Head
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds from the First Sunflower Head
Photo taken by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Recently, I have been harvesting sunflower seeds from several of my dried sunflower heads. I will be preparing the seed packets for shipping out to participants by the end of June 2013.

We would hope to see the participants being inspired to write about their experiences and share their own sunflower photos along the way.

Are you interested in participating? The first step is to indicate your interest by leaving a comment on this blog post. We will then be working to get your contact information, along with mailing address.

Do you have a green or yellow thumb? Have you ever grown sunflowers before? Want to get involved in this project?

P.S. After you have added your comment here on this blog post that you want to participate, please send me your full shipping information.

Working on The Sunflower Project

The first full day of The Sunflower Project, we had 4 early adopters who signed up right out of the gate: Kyra, Rachelle, Casey, and Carolan. Day two, four more participants signed up; Cris, Lynda, Tony and Charity. Eight packets of seeds have been dispatched to the participants.

Day three brought in two more expert flower gardeners, Debbie and Lillian. Don't be left behind. I have got a gazillion sunflower seeds already harvested. Not ready to put them in a bird feeder. Get your free seeds now.

Three Sunflower Seed Packets from The Sunflower Project
Three Sunflower Seed Packets from The Sunflower Project
Photo taken June 12, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Last night, I was up until just short of Midnight harvesting the seeds from all the sunflower heads that I have been drying. Take a look at all those seeds! I have already filled 9 seed packets from the first couple of dried heads; now I have a lot more seed packets to prepare.

assortment of sunflower seeds harvested from the blossom heads
An assortment of sunflower seeds harvested from the blossom heads
Photo taken on June 13, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Isn't it remarkable how much difference there are in those seeds? In the little piles on the two trays above, each of those piles represent one sunflower head's seeds! I worked on 18 sunflower heads to gather their seeds! My next step is to create the little seed packets and fill them with these seeds.

I've written about the largest sunflower head from my garden in a previous blog post. It weighed over 8 ounces. You can see the seeds I extracted from that head in the above picture, top tray, far upper left pile. That's a lot of seeds! I've also got a variety of colors in those seeds, not just the typical black. There are white seeds, tan seeds, brown seeds, and black seeds.

I wonder just how many sunflower seeds there are on those two trays?

The Sunflower Project Free Seeds Packet Label Logo
The Sunflower Project
Plant these seeds and then Pay it Forward.
Have you signed up to participate in The Sunflower Project yet? Hey! What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation. This is it. Your time is here. Time to plant the seeds. Looking forward to the growing season 2014! I have a plethora of sunflower seeds prepared to distribute before the next season. All you have to do is sign up and let me know you'd like to participate.

The Sunflower Project Blooms!

Labor Day, September 2, 2013: I have heard from one of The Sunflower Project participants, Lynda Makara! Oh my, but she did a fabulous "job" with her free packet of sunflower seeds. She has written a Zujava leaf, The Sunflower Project: Sunflower Seed Giveaway, which is quite remarkable! Honestly, I am so inspired by the beautiful backdrop she had for her sunflower garden. She is obviously a talented painter too as you should see her sunflower painting. Thanks Lynda for making this such an inspirational and joyous experience!

 PS Please do not steal my original images and written content. Be authentic and original. Be yourself and stop trying to be me. You know?


Unknown said...

I would love to get involved. I have a large yard that backs up to a farm. We have irrigation, and lots of sun light. I've seen sunflower farms north of me and they seem to do well.

Kyra Hoffner

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Kyra, good to have you on board this endeavor. Please send me your shipping information -- see the P.S. for further instructions. ;) --JaguarJulie

MK (Casey) van Bronkhorst said...

What a wonderful idea! I'd love to be involved.

Julie Ann Brady said...

Excellent Casey! So good to have you in the project. Please send me your shipping information -- see the P.S. for further instructions. ;) --JaguarJulie

Unknown said...

I would like to participate. :) I'll send my address asap.

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Rachelle [er, Unknown] -- Appreciate you signing up! Thanks for sending me your info. I've got you on the participant list.

crosscreations said...

Hey Julie, great idea! Thanks for taking the initiative to get it going! Please count me in.
Carolan in St. Lou

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Carolan, that is super! Maybe I'll get some Maximillian seeds too? I'm hoping to work on creating some of the individual seed packets today and tomorrow for the early participants! Thanks so much. --Julie

Kevin said...

Great idea Julie but a bit late for me this year, sunflowers are already a foot high!

Shared your post on FB though, hope you get lots of takers.

crosscreations said...

About Maximillan seeds, not sure they propagate that way like regular sunflowers. More like a bush of small sunflowers rather than one big one.
I bought a small plant and once established it spreads like crazy! I now have 2 new babies and also gave a baby plant to a neighbor.
The flowers are more like baby daisies.

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Kevin, yeah, I know as mine are over 7 feet tall already. Just getting the seeds harvested, so hopefully we will see some growth. Thanks much! --Julie

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Carolyn, well ... we will have to figure the Maximillian out and do those next. ;)

Unknown said...

I'll give it a try. I love sunflowers and grew them before when I lived in a different state.

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Lynda, that's great - so good to have you in the project. Seeds are going out this morning!

Unknown said...

Yup, I'm in! I have sunflowers growing in my garden now but I love the different varieties and must have more. ;)

Unknown said...

I'm in! I love sunflowers. I'm growing some in the garden now. One is red and stunning! More variety, more fun!

Julie Ann Brady said...

Hi Cindy! So good to hear from you. Happy to have you in The Sunflower Project. I will send out your seeds on Monday. ;)

nicolesender said...

Great Sunflower Pictures! I'd love to participate!

Ruth Cox aka abitosunshine said...

Nothing better than a pay-it-forward project, especially if it involves a bit o' sunshine, which is exactly what sunflowers represent to me! JaguarJulie, I received your package today, hooray!

Julie Ann Brady said...

Ruth, so cool to have sunflowers blooming on the other side of Florida! Can't wait to see how those seeds do and what they produce. Today, I am well over 8 feet on several. Since I staked the garden, I'm seeing more height. Just in time for hurricane season. Yes, sunshine art thou sunflowers.

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