The Sun Flower is probably my favorite of all flowers. Here is a closeup picture of a Sun Flower we took at a local farm.
One Spring, I was feeding the birds in our yard some of the Sun Flower seeds you get at the store, and the spilled sun flower seeds started to grow ( the ones that the squirrels didn't find anyway.)
They grew into a smaller variety of sunflower, like the 3ft kind, so the seeds did not get very big.
Here's How to Harvest Sun Flowers
Wait until the seeds are full grown and firm, then cut the head with about a foot of stem attached. Hang it in an airy dry spot to finish ripening. Don't stack the heads in a box or they will all rot.
The biggest problem with harvesting sunflower seeds is that the birds often get to them first. You can cover the sunflowers with cheesecloth to keep the birds away while the sunflower heads mature.
How to Cook Shelled Sun Flower Seeds
Sun flower seeds are good as a snack or added to favorite recipes in place of nuts. Raw mature sun flower seeds are easy to prepare at home. Cover unshelled seeds with salted water. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per two quarts of water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours. Drain and dry on absorbent paper. Seeds may also be soaked overnight in a salt solution. Roast sun flower seeds in a shallow pan at 300 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. After removing from the oven, stir in one teaspoon of melted butter or margarine for every cup of seeds. Cool on an absorbent towel and salt to taste.
How to Roast Seeds in the Shell
When the seeds can be rubbed easily from the head, and they are dry, the seeds are ready to be roasted for eating. First, remove them from the heads and pick out any pieces of stem or other debris. Mix a quarter of a cup or so of plain salt to a quart of water, and soak the seeds in this overnight.
Spread them on cookie sheets and roast in a very slow oven - 150 to 200 degrees - until completely dry. Stir them once or twice during the drying time; this will take three or four hours. If you intend to store them for any length of time, put them in jars while still warm and close tightly. They keep very well in a cool dark place.