Lifestyle & Human Interest

Farmer Plants Over 2 Million Sunflowers To Help Spread Joy During Pandemic


During the past few months, the helpers have made themselves known. While some people have been fully occupied with plunging on forward themselves and keeping their spirits up, some find ways to lift others’ spirits.

People who can, do, and have been using their unique talents and resources to create special pick-me-ups.

For farmer Scott Thompson in Bristol, Wisconsin, that meant planting acres and acres of flowers.

While the family farm generally sells strawberries during the summer and raspberries and pumpkins during the fall, zinnias, Mexican sunflowers, sunflowers and wildflowers now grace the farm — but it’s the traditional sunflowers that are taking the internet (and interested travelers) by storm.

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“We are starting our sunflower season early!” the Thompson Strawberry Farm shared at the end of July. “The fields finally look beautiful with full bloom.”

The farm is charging an entry fee of $25, which covers up to six people. There are paths to wander, places to take photos and bouquet opportunities. A dozen sunflowers are included with admission.

With 22 acres and 15 fields full of 2 million tall, cheery blooms, there’s plenty of space to maintain physical distance too.

“We just did it … and we just kept building,” Thompson said, according to CNN.

“As the season went on, the pandemic never went anywhere … and we thought people might be looking for something to do, and what a great way to social distance and … smile, basically.”

“One of the things that’s so cool about this is everyone is so happy,” he added. “We get all these comments on Facebook, or if I’m out in the field, everybody is like, ‘Thanks for doing this,’ (and) ‘This is what I needed.’ People are so happy to be out there and have a place to go.”

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“I’m just glad we get to have a business people are happy to come to … and get away from the city.”

If you’re anywhere near Bristol, this might be a great way to take a break with friends or family and snag a beautiful bunch of flowers that will look as good in fall as they do in summer. Thompson said someone even visited from Chicago to experience the magic of the flower fields.

With all the positive feedback, it looks like the sunflower fields will be a repeat attraction in the coming years.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking