How to Harvest Homegrown Sunflower Seeds

How to Harvest Homegrown Sunflower Seeds

At the beginning of the season my husband and darling daughters sprinkled a few sunflower seeds in the South facing flowerbeds by our front porch.

We enjoyed watching them all spring and summer as they grew bigger and bigger and BIGGER!

At their full height they towered above us.  How to harvest sunflower seeds My daughters couldn’t have been more thrilled or proud of any accomplishment in their lives.

The were the envy of every kid on the street.

The only problem is we had no idea what to do with the seeds or when they would be ready.  how do you know when sunflower seeds are ready?

Instead of actually researching it, we just taste tested a seed from the plant about every other day until they seemed ready.

Then I looked around on the internet and found out how to process the seeds.

Harvest Day

On harvest day, my daughters gathered their closest friends.  2014-10-02 17.17.09 We gave each of them a plastic cup and they picked the seeds out of the bloom.  2014-10-02 17.17.35

I was surprised at just how many seeds were in the bloom. How to harvest sunflower seeds

We filled half a gallon sized ziplock bag with just one and a half sunflower blooms!

The girls had a ball harvesting the flowers.  They all pretended they were farmers and this was their year’s work.  2014-10-02 17.22.43

Once the flowers had been defrocked, we took the seeds and dumped them into a boiling pot of salt water. 2014-10-02 17.12.54

According to a variety of internet outlets here is the formula:

1 cup raw seeds

2 tbs salt

1 quart water 2014-10-02 17.22.40

We tripled the recipe since we had three times that about of seeds. How do I cook sunflower seeds

After the seeds simmered in the boiling water for 20 minutes we scooped them out and laid them on a cookie sheet to bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Because I’ve burned many, many things in a hot oven, I checked on these things every five minutes or so.  400 seemed pretty hot for such tiny seeds.

But…sure enough, they were perfect!

The kids were very proud of the sunflower seeds they both harvested and processed.

Now we’ll have delicious salty seeds to snack on for months to come.



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I’m an early thirties mother of two and wife to a husband who is pretty much the wind beneath my wings (and the money behind my debit card). I enjoy writing and laughing at the things I write. After graduating from Weber State University I pursued a joint career in full-time mothering and part-time writing. I discovered a passion for learning and writing about community and women’s issues. Besides writing, I enjoy doing things I’m not sure I can do. Some things I’ve failed at. Others I have accomplished. Other interesting things about me…I’m very short. I survived being sprayed by a skunk. I love my pet hibiscus flowering plant almost as much as my human children. I stalk celebrities, but not for a living. I swim surprisingly fast.

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