Girasol is the Spanish word for sunflower. It means literally “tour sun”. However, not all sunflowers track the sun. In fact, mature flowerheads typically face east and do not move, but the leaves and buds of young sunflowers do. Their orientation changes from east to west during the course of a day.
After the zone conference yesterday, Presidente and I needed to run an errand to Lobos. This was not a quick type of errand. This was an errand that would take us to campo, but not the campo that we have been to before.
As we were driving along, I was enamored with the fields of sunflowers that stretched out as far as the eye could see. The province of Buenos Aires grows the majority of the sunflowers harvested in Argentina. Last year they had quite a few problems with swelling numbers of birds (parrots and pigeons) feeding on the fields. Growers try to scare them away using balloons with "menacing eyes" painted on them. Farmers also try to scare the birds using reflective tape, scarecrows, and by setting off fireworks, which we know by now is practically a national obsession. Who knew that there was something besides entertainment behind it?
Argentina is the world's No.2 sunflower oil exporter, trailing only the Ukraine last year and accounts for almost a fifth of the global export supply.
In addition to all of that, they are fabulously beautiful!