Update: The Yellow Springs sunflower field is back!
The 30-acre sunflower field on Whitehall Farm just off state route 68 has been a popular attraction for thousands of visitors for several years now.
Michele Burns is the executive director of the Tecumseh Land Trust, the conservation non-profit that has its offices next to the sunflower field. The same non-profit has also managed the field in past years.
Burns said the last two seasons instead of sunflowers, the field has been covered with grasses and wheat cover crops — which could mean bigger sunflowers this year.
“We've had a year of cover crops that's putting nitrogen back in the soil. And then we've had two wheat crops on that field,” Burns said. “We really expect that the soil should be much healthier, which should produce much bigger and prettier sunflowers.”
Cover crops like radishes, clover and buckwheat and other types of grasses are plants that have deep roots and naturally fertilize the soil in a farm field.
In addition to possible bigger flowers, this year, the field will be managed by the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Ashley Mangen, the chamber of commerce’s treasurer, said one of the biggest expenses is the cost of hiring someone to direct traffic — which the chamber plans to take on along with organizing volunteers and monitoring the field.
Additionally, Mangen said will be looking to partner with local businesses and encourage visitors to drive down to the village.
Parking and entrance to the field will be free. The flowers should bloom around mid-September and last for about two weeks. More information and updates will be posted by the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce on their website and social media pages.
Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.