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Today we visited the florist, Mrs. Zheng. When we arrived, her mother and daughter were busy handling the harvested sunflowers they just gathered from the field. We watched the three of them cutting off the shoots and leaves for the sunflowers, wiring, and bundling them up. I couldn’t help but take up a bundle of processed sunflowers. That was so heavy! The stems of the sunflower are thick and long, and the flowers are huge and bumpy. No wonder they are so heavy.

After putting away her chores, Mrs. Zheng showed us the way to her sunflower’s flower bed. It is right next to her place. When we arrived at her home, we found that the sunflower’s flower bed is not the same as the one shown in the photo. Each flower is huge in full blossom, and is full of energetic and vigorous spirit. Mrs. Zheng explained and said “We only grow sunflowers and these were sold to the flower market. Some flowers were sold inland and other flowers were sold to the foreign countries. We cannot wait until the flowers are in full blossom to pick them up. If so, it will lose the economic value and we won’t be able to sell them. Those flowers delivered to the wholesale market are in early puberty. That’s how the consumers will get the most beautiful and fresh bouquet of sunflowers when they receive it. You talked about the pretty sunflowers in the photos. Those were used for viewing only rather than harvest or cutting for sales. We wait until it is time to harvest the seeds.”

Walking in the sunflower’s flower bed, we found that the sunflower grows tall and fast. Occasionally, we found a few flowers were in full blossom. Those were the ones they failed to harvest in the morning. Since the flowers were not picked, they started to bloom instead. Mrs. Zheng said, “Once it is the time to harvest, we will pick flowers twice. The first harvest time takes place in the morning. We will do it again in the afternoon.”
 

Mrs. Zheng took out the sunflower seeds and showed them to us. (See Table 1, 2, and 3 below.) Hey, how come these look just like the organic seeds we saw before? She answered, “Exactly. Some sunflower’s flower bed is used for planting processing food and bird feeding. Those seeds are much cheaper as you may find them in that kind of flower bed. The seeds I showed you were imported from a seed-germination company in Netherlands introduced by another florist friend of mine. The quality is better but it will cost you more.”

The sunflower’s flower bed of Mrs. Zheng can be divided into various phases for cultivation. Its main purpose is to stay alert so that she can provide the chopped flowers to the wholesale merchants anytime. We observed the distance between each young sprout, and figured out that there is a ballpoint-pen space between the two sprouts. (See Table 4 below.) Mrs. Zheng explained and said, “Each stem will produce one flower. The sunflower is a flowering plant so the leaves are not important. Besides, the flower is not blooming yet when harvested. Therefore, the space between two sprouts should be enough for growth.”
 

 

As we observed the processing site of the sunflower after the harvest, we found that each stem only produce one flower. We also watched Mrs. Zheng wiring up the sunflowers tactfully. Mrs. Zheng explained and said, “The sunflower is a plant that shares the phototaxis property. Under the flower, the neck (the stem) will keep track of the sun. That’s why the upper crooked stem of the harvested flower looks curved. (See Table 2.) Therefore, we will wire it up to make it looks straighter. (See Table 3, 4, and 5 below.)”

  

 

Profile of Sunflower【Note 3】

1. The sunflower belongs to the Chrysanthemum, which is also called the Sunshine Daisy or Hong Kong Daisy. Yet, to avoid fixing up with the Gerbera Daisy. People normally will call it the sunflower for clarification.
2. It was named after its flower sequence because it moves as the sun comes out in every direction.
3. It’s an annual herb with 1-3.5 meters in length.
4. Its stem erects straight, and its circular stem may have many angles. The hard texture is covered with white thick bristles.

------------------------------Source of Reference----------------------------

Note:

1. Photo shooting was made during the field survey.

2. Briefing Handouts of the florist, Mrs. Zheng

3. Sunflower – Wikipedia Enter

 

CYBERFAIR 2017