On the northeastern edge of the Midwestern college town of Lawrence, Kansas, Grinter Farms sunflower fields offer some of the best known blooms in the Sunflower State (if not the nation). But before you set out for the acres of beautiful bright yellow blossoms they plant each summer, read these tips!
For decades, Grinter Farms has dedicated a few acres of its farm of tall stalks of corn, fuzzy soybeans, and other row crop staples to grow cheery sunflowers. Farmer Ted harvests the sunflower seeds for bird seed, but mostly he plants the sunflower fields because they’re beautiful and he and wife Kris enjoy sharing the sunflowers with the public.
It would be understandable if the Grinter Family charged admission to its sunflower fields. After all, it takes land, time, seed, water, and gasoline to grow approximately 40 acres of sunflowers. And most family farms that grow sunflower mazes and you- pick fields charge $5 to $15 to enjoy their grounds. But Grinter Farms charges visitors nothing to spend time among the flowers and enjoy their beauty.
Here are 13 helpful tips to ensure you have an amazing time at the Grinter Farms sunflower fields (and you do your part to encourage Farmer Ted to continue to plant the sunflower fields each season).
1. The Best Time to Visit the Grinter Farms Sunflower Fields
Farmer Ted plants the Grinter Farms sunflower fields in early July, which means his acres of sunny blooms at their peak for about two weeks at the end of August and beginning of September, often around Labor Day weekend.
For the best photographs, visit on a sunny day within the first few hours of sunrise or the last few hours before sunset.
2. Avoid Crowds by Going Early on a Week Day
Rows and rows of blooming sunflowers are quite a draw, and thousands of people visit the Grinter Farms sunflower fields each season. Avoid crowds by arriving early in the morning and visiting on a weekday. Not only will it be more peaceful in the fields, but you’ll also have an easier time parking your car.
If your only option is to visit during golden hour on Saturday evening, then just be prepared to walk deeper into the field for a less crowded spot to enjoy the flowers.
3. Grinter Farms Sunflower Field is Open 24/7
Because the sunflowers are planted in open fields along Stillwell Road in Northeastern Lawrence, the Grinter Farms sunflower fields are open 24/7. However, Farmer Ted, The Farmer’s Wife, and all of their neighbors ask that you be respectful when you visit.
It’s perfectly fine to arrive before dawn and get photos as the sun rises. It’s also okay to film drone footage as the sun slips behind the horizon. It’s not okay to race down Stillwell Road with your music blaring or have a raucous party in the sunflower field at any time of day or night.
4. The Grinters Own a Working Farm
While Farmer Ted is willing to plant sunflower fields for your enjoyment (which grants him automatic sainthood in my book), he and his family are still running a working farm for all 52 weeks of the year.
If you discover trucks, tractors, plows, or other farm equipment in the sunflower fields, resist the urge to climb on board and channel your inner farmer. And if you’re visiting Grinter Farms with your children, do not let them use the farm equipment as a jungle gym or rock climbing wall.
Related Article: Kansas Wildflowers by Season: Spring, Summer, and Fall
5. Enjoy the Go Before You Go
While you’ll want to stay hydrated if it’s a warm day in the sunflower fields, please know that there is no restroom at the large Grinter Farms sunflower field.
However, you can find a row of porta potties (including a sink) outside the Sunflower General near the smaller sunflower field down the road. If you’re seeking an indoor plumbing option, be prepared to venture into Lawrence, Tonganoxie, or Linwood in search of a gas station or other facility.
6. Bring Your Camera (And Plenty of Battery Power)
Because most people can barely use the restroom without their cell phone (at home, because there isn’t a toilet at the sunflower fields), you’ll likely have at least some sort of camera in tow when you visit Grinter Farms. But be sure your batteries are fully charged, because you’re likely to snap lots of selfies and other pics when surrounded by six-foot-tall sunflowers.
If you plan on shooting the sunflower fields with a dedicated camera, triple check that you have extra batteries, your desired lenses, and everything else you need to capture your memories.
7. Apply Sunscreen (And Bug Spray)
As with any outdoor activity, it’s wise to apply sunscreen before you head to the Grinter Farms sunflower fields. And because the Grinters do not use insecticides on their sunflowers, prepare yourself for bugs. You’re likely to find bees, butterflies, crickets, ladybugs, grasshoppers, beetles, mosquitos, and all sorts of other flying, hopping, and crawling creatures enjoying the sunflowers, as well.
8. Pack Proper Footwear
Breaking news: Sunflowers grow in fields. When it’s dry, the field will likely be dusty. And when it rains, the fields will likely be muddy. So be sure to wear rubber boots, old sneakers, or any other comfortable footwear that you don’t mind getting dirty.
9. Park Properly (Or Prepare to Pay)
In addition to planting acres and acres of sunny blooms for visitors to enjoy without a fee, Grinter Farms has also established free designated parking areas. Be sure to park where indicated when you visit the Grinter Farms sunflower fields. If you park along the road, you’ll likely be ticketed.
And if a sign says private drive, respect the folks who live near these beautiful fields by not turning around in, parking in, or blocking their driveways.
10. Pick Up After Yourself
And Your Dog.
And Your Kids.
While Farmer Ted is happy to plant sunflowers for your late summer enjoyment, he and his family are less interested in picking up your discarded or lost items out of the field. Don’t leave ANYTHING in the field, including empty water bottles, sunglasses, or car keys.
Although well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to visit the sunflower fields, you are expected to pick up after your pup. This does not mean bag the poo and set the bag on the ground. It means bag the poo and cart it with you until you find another location (because there aren’t trash bins at the sunflower field) to properly dispose of the pile.
And I seriously shouldn’t have to tell folks to pick up and cart away any dirty diapers…
Related Article: Etiquette Rules to Follow When Traveling with Your Dog
11. Selecting Stems to Take Home
12. Leave a Donation
Although the Grinter sunflower fields are open to the public without any entrance fee, Farmer Ted and the Grinter family spend time, money, and energy growing the blooms. As a reference point, other farms in the Midwest typically charge admission fees of $5 to $15 to enjoy their sunflower fields. So while you’re in no way obligated to spend a dime, please consider leaving a donation in the box when you enjoy the Grinter Farms sunflower fields.
And if you don’t carry cash (because who does anymore) you can Venmo Farmer Ted (@FarmerTed-Grinter) using the very same phone you’re taking a million photos with!
13. Stop by Sunflower General
You can also support Grinter Farms (and other local farmers) by visiting Sunflower General. This local goods and bake shop is just a short drive west of the sunflower fields. Wrap up your visit to the Grinter Farms sunflower fields by purchasing local honey, a pan of cinnamon rolls, sunflower decor, or a commemorative t-shirt designed by The Farmer’s Wife.
To Visit the Grinter Farms Sunflower Fields
The main sunflower field is at 24154 Stillwell Road in Lawrence, Kansas. There is a second field near Sunflower General Store at 14755 243rd St., just a short drive west of the main sunflower field.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunflower Fields in Kansas
Does Kansas have sunflower fields?
It’s not called the Sunflower State for nothing! While the Grinter sunflower farm is one of the most famous sunflower fields in Kansas, you can also find fields of cultivated sunflowers elsewhere in Northeastern, Central, Southern, and Western Kansas.
When can you see sunflowers in Kansas?
Wild sunflowers bloom throughout the summer months in open areas and along roadsides throughout the state of Kansas. But big cultivated sunflower fields (like Grinter’s) typically bloom for about two weeks at the end of August or early September.
What is the best time to go to a sunflower field?
For the best photo opportunities, visit the sunflower field during the “golden hour.” This short period just after sunrise and just before sunset tends to deliver better lighting than when the sun is hot and high overhead.
Have You Visited the Grinter Farms Sunflower Fields?
What did you like most? Any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
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