Sunflowers to Save the World

Sunflowers are beautiful. They are also kind of huge, a little bit woody, and a favorite for all sorts of bees and bugs and birds impacted by climate change. Seriously, they are beautiful. They are amazing and beautiful. Just look at them.

(source: Now, look at the world around you. Everyone knows of a patch of ground. This patch of ground could be the corner of your yard. It could be a scrap of dirt left bare after some construction disaster. It could be just wild ground, hard-scrabble and rough. Sunflowers are rough. They like disturbed soil. Grab a shovel, disturb some soil. Plant some sunflowers. Seeds are cheap and plentiful. Soak them in rainwater for a few hours before planting, and then place them about one finger joint down into the soil. They have deep taproots that reach down and pull up nutrients all up and down their big stalks. They have big, wide, nitrogen-rich leaves that provide shade in hot weather, and shelter for bugs and small birds. Now, once the sunflower is done, and the seedheads turn down to the earth, and the plant begins to brown, chop it off right at the root line, leaving the roots in place to decompose inside the soil. Then, take that big, slightly wood-y stalk, and bury it in another patch of dead ground. Right there, in that disturbed soil with the buried sunflower stalks, plant more sunflower seeds. Where the sunflowers were once planted, nature will find something useful to do there. It will probably involve generations of sunflowers. This is a good thing. It is a beautiful thing. And it spreads. It spreads, and the decaying sunflowers provide shelter to worms underground, and the roots release all those deep nutrients as they decay. Bring back the soil, and save the world. Desertification is the enemy. Do your own little thing. Be the sunflower ninja. Bring beauty and peace and healing to the world.

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