Sunflowers to be celebrated in Lee through Sunday

Union Leader Correspondent
July 31. 2018 8:53PM
The public is invited to check out all of the sunflowers now in bloom at Coppal House Farm in Lee through Sunday. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

Oilseed sunflowers bloom for only 12 days, and at Coppal House Farm in Lee they are celebrated during a festival and them processed for oil and food for livestock. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

LEE — While passing by Coppal House Farm in Lee it is easy to see the distinctive bright yellow from rows upon rows of sunflowers.

The working farm on North River Road is holding its annual Sunflower Festival this week. Through Sunday, the public is invited to explore close to six acres of land where the flowers are in full bloom.

Farm owner Carol Hutton said Tuesday they started growing oilseed sunflowers to feed livestock about seven years ago and realized it produced a delicious culinary oil which in 2016 won a Good Food Award in San Francisco.

Four years ago, Hutton and her husband, John, started the Sunflower Festival and word of the annual event has quickly spread. People from upstate New York, Texas and South Carolina have attended, even planning vacations around it.

“It’s hard to have a tough day in a sunflower field,” John Hutton said. “Everybody’s just in a good mood.”

Tuesday was limited mobility day and people who use walkers and wheelchairs were allowed to drive up to the sunflowers. Donna Hoge, who lives at Wentworth Senior Living in Portsmouth, said she was able to take pictures to inspire future paintings.

“I love them. I’m a water colorist,” Hoge said.

Enrichment assistant Karen McKenzie said 11 residents were on the trip. They were happy to get out of the city and get onto the farm.

McKenzie said staff members hoped the trip would inspire some memories.

Desiree Waterman and Rheanna Bauer, of Nashua, were trying to make a lasting memory of their own at the festival. Both of the young women are soon headed to college and wanted to have one last summer day together taking photos of the sunflowers.

“My mom loves sunflowers. I thought it would be a nice present to give her some photos before I go to college,” Waterman said. She starts at Norwich University in Vermont in less than two weeks.

Admission for the Sunflower Festival is $8 for those 13 and older through Friday. Children 5 to 12, seniors and military members can get in for $6.

On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $10 for those 13 and older, and $8 for children 5 to 12, seniors and military members.

Children 4 and younger get in for free every day.

The field and farmstand are open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

No dogs are allowed on the farm.

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