Posts tagged with "Outside Chicago"

It’s a tough year. So, a Wisconsin farmer planted 2 million sunflowers just to cheer us up

September 16, 2020

We can’t say everything is coming up roses this year. But, at the Thompson Strawberry Farm in Bristol, Wisconsin, everything is coming up sunflowers—two million sunflowers, in fact.

And that’s enough to make most people smile, which is just the reaction that the family farmers who own the property were seeking, according to a report by USA Today.

Scott Thompson, a fourth generation berry farmer, said it was his wife’s idea to bring blossoms of sunshine into the mix this year. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, they knew they wanted to help people—especially those in nearby urban areas—with an escape “to get away from their reality for a little bit,” Thompson told the news outlet.

So, over five weeks, Thompson progressively planted sunflower seeds across 22 acres. The grand number of two million wasn’t originally in his head—but the result allowed visitors to experience (and Instagram) a six-week to eight-week bloom instead of a typical 10 to 14-day stint.

“It just keeps going and going — and I think that’s really captured the hearts of people,” Thompson told USA Today.

“Every single day has just become busier and busier.”

Thompson Strawberry Farm is about an hour outside Chicago and a 35-minute drive to downtown Milwaukee. The establishment offers “Pick-Your-Own” strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, and now sunflowers.

“You get to walk through these beautiful fields,” said Thompson.

“It’s just a naturally, socially-distant activity,” he said. “[People want] an hour … to be outside, and just kind of feel a little sense of normalcy in our lives—so it’s had a lot of positive impact.”

“And whether we made a dime or not, we’ve sure had a lot of fun doing it.”

Research contact: @USATODAY