by Lisa Tome
Dave McCreary wasn't able to plant sweet corn this year because the field was too wet.
So he turned to a farmer friend for advice.
"My friend said 'you should plant sunflowers. It's a big draw.' Boy was he mistaken. It's a really big draw," he said. "It was too late and too wet to get sweet corn in. It kept raining," he said.
He planted three acres of sunflowers. It was the first time he ever planted them.
Now he has another new crop. Hoards of people coming to look.
McCreary said initially, the reception to the sunflower field was lukewarm. "People thought it was sick soybeans," he said. "Now people are coming 24 hours a day and taking pictures and looking, taking pictures and looking," he said.
Kristin McCreary manages BGs Produce. She has been inundated with questions and comments on social media. "Feel free to take over the Facebook questions," laughed McCreary last Wednesday. The social media response to the sunflower field has been overwhelming. So much so that McCrearys posted "rules" for looking at them. The family has asked that people stay to the edges of the field and not break the sunflowers or damage the field.
"We want people to leave them alone and enjoy them. Stay on the edges of the field and park in the parking lot. Don't park on the road (Route 273). Don't pick them. Just enjoy them," he said.
The sunflowers will be harvested for birdseed. In the meantime, they are attracting birds and bees in the field. Dave McCreary said once the heads of the sunflower fields start to droop, this year's crop will be gone. He will plant it again next year.
"I never expected it. I just wanted to plant and give the business a boost. The boost is good and we're enjoying it. On Tuesday, people got dressed up and came here (for photos). They looked like they were going to the prom," he said.
The sunflowers have attracted not only the locals but have brought people from Delaware and Pennsylvania. The McCrearys said people of all ages are coming to enjoy the field.
Brenda Smith is a local who was shopping at the market last week. "We were gone for a few days. I love them. It's a good surprise," said Smith.
Terri Dixon said a Facebook post featuring the sunflowers drew her to the market. "I saw the pictures on Facebook and came and bought sunflowers. I absolutely love them. It makes you happy," she said.
Erika Patrick of North East headed to the sunflower field with her five-year-old daughter to take photos. "Everybody on Facebook is posting pictures. I wanted to come check it out," Patrick said.
If just looking at the sunflowers isn't enough, they are also selling them in BGs Produce.
The sunflowers have also been well received by the neighbors. The family has a senior citizen neighbor who was inspired by the sunflowers. She sent a balloon of gratitude and penned a verse which the family is sharing with customers.
The Happy Sunflowers
The happy sunflowers are so much fun.
They bring joy and smiles all day in the sun.
They surely are a gift from God.
As their bright heads give us a friendly nod.
Standing straight and tall for all to see.
A blessing of love and light to you and me.
We will enjoy them while they are here.
And with hopeful hearts look forward to next year.
BGs is located on Chandlee Road, Rising Sun, sight distance from Route 273.