Sunflowers at Kraay Family Farm are in full bloom this week and ready for their closeup.
Known for its 15-acre corn maze, the farm has also been growing fields of sunflowers in the last few years for people looking for a bountiful backdrop for their photos.
“Last year we were hailed out so it just got destroyed. But this year we missed some of those storms so it looks pretty awesome,” said owner Rachel Kraay about the sunflowers that reach 1.2 to 1.65 metres tall (four to 5.5 feet) at the Lacombe-area farm.
“They just make for such fun photos, and kind of make everyone happy. They really do brighten your day.”
Sunflowers will be on sale for $2 a stem, and five stems for $10 in a mason jar, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association in Red Deer.
Kraay said after sunflowers bloom they will slowly start producing seeds.
“There will still be lots of sunflowers next week, but if (visitors) want every single sunflower out — that’s this week.”
Near the end of the season the flowers are left standing for the birds to feast on the seeds before the plants are cut down for cattle feed for nearby farms.
She said last year the corn maze was also hit by hail, but the plants bounced back because corn grows from the centre of the stalk. However, the sunflowers could not recover after their blooms were knocked off by the hail.
This year both crops are thriving as a result of the spring rain, and the summer heat.
“The corn is really high and green,” Kraay said about the crop that grows 1.8 to 2.4 metres tall (six to eight feet).
“Corn loves heat and humidity. As much as we wilt in it, corn loves it,” she laughed.
It’s the 23rd year for the Kraay Family Farm Maze, and this year the theme is — Mental Health Matters — with kilometres of trails to explore.
The farm has more than 40 activities and attractions for children, including a few new animals to meet, a straw bale climb and new obstacles on the adventure course.
For more information on the farm, visit www.kraayfamilyfarm.com.