By Alyssa Freyman
For the Forsyth County News
People all over Georgia are getting ready to visit one of the most popular places in the state. The Anderson's Sunflower Farm on 3360 Shiloh Road will be lavished once again with full, bright sunflowers, but patrons are worried that this might be the farm’s last year of doing it due to the land it recently sold.
Dennis Anderson, the owner of the Anderson's Sunflower Farm, sold 40 of their 50 acres last year. The land will go towards a living area for senior citizens in the future. For now, though, the land remains unbuilt.
“We sold my family’s estate part of it, but the sunflowers will probably still keep going on,” Anderson said. “It’s the same amount of land that it’s always been. We’re still using that part of it. They haven’t started construction so we’re still using that part of the land.”
Anderson is hopeful that they will continue their yearly tradition of growing sunflowers, but he is also looking to sell the rest of his land.
“We’ll just keep growing them as long as we’re here,” Anderson said. “Our part is for sale, but we haven’t sold yet, so we’ll be here for another year or two it looks like.”
The sunflower farm will be open to visitors daily starting Tuesday, July 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for about two weeks during the peak time for the flowers.
While there, patrons can pick some flowers to keep and take photographs. After that, they start to wilt and will be mowed for the birds to eat.
Preparation goes all the way back to May, when the sunflower seeds are planted. After that, they “wait for Mother Nature to work her magic,” the company’s Facebook page says.
Anderson has found this year to be quite a challenge with the constantly changing weather.
“We usually plant it in May and it takes about 65 days for the flowers to bloom, so we plant it then and hope they bloom,” said Anderson. “This year’s been kind of a challenge, because we’ve had about three weeks of no rain, and then five days of about 6 ½ inches of rain at one time. Too much rain and not enough rain.”
While sunflowers are the main attraction, Joe Bees honey, Gatorade, lemonade and T-shirts are also available to buy. Half dozen sunflowers are $8, honey is $10 per jar. Professional Photographers have to pay $35 per client or session, while visitors will have to pay $10 per carload.
Anderson isn’t worried about the turnout he will get this year. He has witnessed large turnouts since the ‘90’s and doesn’t expect it to change any time soon.
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