Sunflower picking at Dart’s Farm 2020

We’ve picked strawberries and raspberries to our hearts’ content (and our tummies’) and now we can continue our love of Pick your Own with Sunflowers thanks to Dart’s Farm. And I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again ‘what could be better than being allowed to gather your very own bright yellow bunch of happiness, knowing that whilst you’re doing so, all the money raised is donated to the charity Hospiscare, a charity offering support for people with terminal illness?’

đŸ“¸ thanks to @abi.fields

Where to go

It’s change a bit this year because of Covid-19 and so you don’t need to enter the food shop. Instead, head to the entrance of the courtyard (near The Shack). There’s an outdoor till area purely for Sunflower picking and the Maize maze. It takes contactless and has hand sanitiser.

Collect your sharp secateurs, which are great for the job but, obviously, do be careful of little fingers. Wander across to the sunflower field (they can give you a map) and get picking!  You may gather as many as you like, or can carry, whichever comes first, and when you return the secateurs to the counter, pop your donation into the pot – recommended donation by Dart’s of 50p per stem or a minimum £5 contactless donation. Enjoy your beautiful flowers at home.

What to know

Dart’s Farm recommend sensible footwear – it is in a field after all.  last year, I threw caution to the wind and headed along in my summer staple of flip flops and was chastised with a sting from a nettle – so be mindful of little legs.

Don’t be afraid to get right in among the flowers – where even more beautiful flowers await you (but obviously careful not to damage any flowers on your travels).

Price: It’s all to raise money for the local charity Hospiscare. There is a countertop charity collection pot for the donations so have the change you wish to donate available or they are doing contactless suggested donation of £5. In previous years they have suggested 50p a stem.

Suitable ages

There’s something for everyone:

  • For babies: it’s a sensory delight. Bright yellow petals contrasting against the dark inner disk, the scent of the flowers, the breeze while out and about…
  • For young toddlers: they can marvel at the towering height of the sunflowers and help carry or drag them around… (for others the enormity may be a little intimidating, so have a hand (or hip!) free).
  • Older kids: they love choosing their own flowers, making their own path among the sunny giants and collecting their hoard – well until they see the play park then it’s all over to you!
  • For parents: its lovely to walk among the flowers, seeing heads popping up in the field and choosing the bunch that will adorn your table for the next few days.

Who can resist Instagram-worthy photos of our gorgeous children and beautiful flowers?

Share your sunflower pics with #dartssunnyselfie #LittleDevonLife

Times

Darts Farm Food Hall and Gift Shop is open:
Monday to Saturday: 8am – 7pm
Sunday: 9.30am – 4.30pm (9.30 – 10.30am viewing time only)

Loos

Yes – In Dart’s courtyard just behind the shack.

Buggies

There is a path all the way to the Sunflower field and alongside where all buggies will travel easily and could then be in sight, if you wish.

How to increase the vase life of your sunflowers

Taking tips from Sarah Raven, do the following steps when you get home in order to maximize the longevity of your flowers.

  • Strip the leaves off the part of the stem that will be under the waterline (it is bacteria in the water that bungs up the stems and destroys the longevity of the flowers.)
  • Re-cut the stems on the angle (so they can draw water freely)
  • Put the bottom inch of the stem into a mug of boiling water for 30 seconds (you will see little air bubbles escaping)
  • Refresh the water every few days or so or add a tiny splash of Milton to the water to keep the water clear.

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