Lancaster County farm holding Sunflower Days event for photos and floral fun

Lancaster

STRASBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Your Instagram feed is about to get a major upgrade. Verdant View Farm in Strasburg, Lancaster County, is holding its first Sunflower Days event, at which visitors can stroll through fields of beautiful sunflowers, taking plenty of photographs along the way.

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The Sunflower Days started Wednesday, and they will run August 4-7 and 11-14 as well as September 10-11 and 17-18. Guests can spend time surrounded by flowers, play yard games, take photographs, and on Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy craft beer and wine.

Sunflower Days tickets range from $10-18. Everyone who attends gets to pick a sunflower to take home, and they can purchase additional flowers to make a bouquet.

“There’s an appetite for people to find outdoor activities that are safe and help people to reconnect with each other,” Patrick Fleming, co-owner of Verdant View Farm, said. “Also, any time is a good year to plant acres of flowers. It’s a reminder that we have a lot to be grateful for, that there’s a lot of beauty around us.”

And indeed, these flowers are beautiful. They come in all sorts of colors, from the classic gold-and-brown to orange and pink and maroon and even white. Patrick compared the flowers to a fireworks show.

This is the first year sunflowers have been planted at Verdant View Farm on such a large scale. Patrick explained that it was a bit of an adjustment, as the sunflowers must be planted using different equipment than the other crops on the farm.

Patrick and Elisa Fleming, the other co-owner of Verdant View Farm, hope that all of the flowers are picked and used in bouquets. The seeds of these sunflowers aren’t meant to be eaten by people, but the Flemings will try feeding some of them to their piglet.

Patrick and Elisa Fleming, co-owners of Verdant View Farm

The sunflowers also provide excellent habitat for pollinators like bees, Elisa noted. The most common commodity crops grown around Lancaster County are corn and soybeans, which don’t flower, and thus don’t offer pollen for bees, Patrick said.

“Lancaster’s actually a difficult place for bees. Trees are a huge source of pollen at certain times of the year, but there becomes a lack of pollen available July and August and into the fall for the bees because most of the crops in most of the county are harvesting crops that don’t provide food for bees,” Elisa explained.

“When I walked out here the other evening, I just saw all these butterflies flying over the tops of the field, and I thought, ‘I feel good about doing that for the pollinators,'” Patrick said.

After getting the Sunflower Days put together for the first time this year, Patrick said they plan to continue the event in the future.

Guests can check out the Sunflower Days between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and between 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Elisa said that Friday and Saturday evenings will likely be popular as visitors have a nice view of the sunset from the farm.

Verdant View Farm also offers a bed and breakfast as well as farm tours, both of which provide hands-on opportunities to interact with the animals on the farm.

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