Wisconsin Farmer Planted Over 2 Million Sunflowers to Bring Joy During Coronavirus Pandemic

Eufemia Didonato

Courtesy Thompson Strawberry Farm Sunflowers at Thompson Strawberry Farm

A farmer in Wisconsin wanted to bring happiness to others amid the coronavirus pandemic — so that’s what he’s doing, one sunflower at a time.

Scott Thompson typically offers customers at his for-profit family farm, Thompson Strawberry Farms, the chance to pick their own strawberries in the summer as well as raspberries and pumpkins in the fall, according to CNN.

But this year, when the pandemic hit, Thompson and his wife wanted to find a way to make their customers happy, while also adhering to safety guidelines.

Putting their heads together, the couple ultimately decided to plant sunflowers — over 2 million of them — which could be safely picked by customers across 22 acres and more than 15 fields, the outlet reported.

“We just did it … and we just kept building,” Thompson told 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,” he added.

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For more than 70 years, Thompson and his family have been farming in Kenosha County, CNN reported.

Though they’ve always planted fruit and pumpkins for picking, this is the first year that his farm has featured flowers, which began at the beginning of August, according to Thompson Strawberry Farms’ website.

The sunflowers are available to pick by the dozen for $25 per car (up to six people) through September. Zinnias are also available to be picked as part of the deal, and additional flowers or people can be purchased for an extra charge, the site reads.

Courtesy Thompson Strawberry Farm

Courtesy Thompson Strawberry Farm

Photography sessions are allowed in the fields as long as visitors pay for the clients and tag the farm in their social media posts.

Since announcing pick-your-own sunflowers, Thompson told CNN the farm has seen a great deal of success, with people traveling from near and far.

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A stunning double rainbow appeared just in time for the cheer to color the sky

Many heard about the sunflowers through word-of-mouth while others learned about it through social media, according to Thompson, noting that one woman even traveled from Chicago to escape the city and protests.

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

While there are only a few more weeks left before the sunflower harvest ends, Thompson said he’s confident they will continue offering this annually.

“One of the things that’s so cool about this is everyone is so happy,” the farmer told the outlet. “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,” he added.

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