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Multiple uses for sunflowers exist: food, fuel, fiber.


The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant with large flowers. It is native to North America and is an important food crop worldwide. Some background on how to grow them and care for them is found here. Briefly, sunflowers can tolerate both light and heavy soil, and will grow best when they have plenty of organic matter and some fertilizer. They need watering during dry weather. Other than some basic care methods, sunflowers don't require much intervention while growing.


Animal Feed

  • press cake can be fed to pigs and chickens
  • stems and leaves into fodder (perhaps as silage )
  • Also excellent feed for birds and wildlife (more so recreational bird feeders, not agricultural use)


  • Kernels can be eaten raw, roasted, or used in baking or cooking
  • Sunflower Oil from pressed seeds
  • A commercial product called "Sun Butter" is similar to peanut butter but from (hulled?)sunflower seeds
    • Different, but very good
    • Also used in medical/public areas where food allergies can be a concern
    • MAY be a good market (Especially with food snob/hipster money from ArTesIAN OrGANic...)



  • Cut flower for the floral industry.
  • Also see Jerusalem Artichoke, which is a type of sunflower but somewhat different uses (no oil, but lots of sugars)

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