A beautiful field of blooming sunflowers is lighting up the lives of hundreds of people flocking to a Freshwater cane paddock to gaze upon the remarkable sight.
Social media has been abuzz with photos of the stunning vista, residents are urging onlookers not to pick the flowers and wedding parties have ventured there to be photographed in the field.
But mystery has surrounded its sudden appearance in a cane paddock near the Freshwater train station.
Until now: TropicNow has just spoken to the farmer who planted the sunflower seeds.
The farmer, Mark Savina, is trialling the flowers as a rotation crop to give his cane fields a break. It’s possible he will crop the flowers either for their seeds or oil.
Cane is a monoculture and some fields have been planted continuously for more than 100 years. Mark is also trying a crop of Sunn hemp to give the ground a break.
“Sunflowers are a drought resistant plant and has a huge organic matter which should help the soil,” Mark said.
“It costs stuff all to plant them and if it gives people enjoyment, that’s great. It’s a happy plant. They turn their heads to follow the sun during the day. I planted a row up my driveway for my niece’s wedding on the farm in July.”
Mark says he likes to trial different things and is looking for something in December so watch that space.
“I might go for something colourful again, maybe lavender,” he said.
Mark says it depends on what his wife likes: “Got to keep the cook happy.”