Aztext Press

Life Off-the-Grid


By Michelle Mather

I was just on a blog that I subscribe to and the blogger had posted a photo of a sunflower. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the sunshiney face of a sunflower on such a cold winter’s day and so it really lifted my spirits. I decided to do the same for you, and since we grow lots and lots of sunflowers here on “Sunflower Farm” I knew I wouldn’t have any difficulty finding a few photos to share with you.

We call this place “Sunflower Farm” for a few reasons. First, as I mentioned, we are very fond of sunflowers and grow as many as possible. Not only do they provide colour and beauty to our gardens, but the birds love to feast on the seeds. We also like the name as it is a play on “SunPower” which of course describes our “off-grid” and solar-powered status. Sunflowers are like nature’s “solar trackers” as they actually move during the day to keep their “faces” in the sunlight, a process called “heliotropism”. We’ve also discovered that the sunflower is the international symbol of nuclear disarmament.

“Sunflowers are a simple miracle. They grow from a seed. They rise from the earth. They are natural. They are bright and beautiful. They bring a smile to one’s face. They produce seeds that are nutritious, and from these seeds oil is produced. Native Americans once used parts of the sunflower plant to treat rattlesnake bites, and sunflower meal to make bread. Sunflowers were even used near Chernobyl to extract radionuclides cesium 137 and strontium 90 from contaminated ponds following the catastrophic nuclear reactor accident there.”


I hope you enjoy these photos of sunflowers from the past few years. I should mention that many of these photos were taken by our daughter Katie, who obviously finds inspiration in our sunflower gardens!

They also look beautiful in a vase!



  1. Nancy (Archer) Parker

    Morning Michelle; what a lovely sight when I opened up this e-mail. Thanks for making a gloomy Sunday sunny. Hugs,


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