Manitoba

Manitoba farmer offers the perfect spot for your sunflower selfies

While others might object to trespassers who stop to take pictures with their crops, one Manitoba farmer is asking people to drop by and snap a selfie with his beautiful sunflowers — in exchange for a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Farm asks that visitors donate to Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a charity that works to end hunger globally

Dean Toews says sunflowers are a hardy crop that can root deeply to find water. But because of the drought this summer, their flowering season will be short, he says. (Kamp Photography)

While others might object to trespassers who stop to take pictures with their crops, one Manitoba farmer is asking people to drop by and snap a selfie with his beautiful sunflowers — in exchange for a donation to an organization working to end global hunger.

Dean Toews farms corn and soybeans east of the town of MacGregor, but this year he planted a field of the massive flowers just for people searching for the perfect Instagram picture.

All he asks is that people make a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

"We have a set of clippers there if you want to take a [sunflower] head home with you or two ... and we have a donation box there, and the money goes 100 per cent to Canadian Foodgrains Bank," Toews said in a Thursday interview with CBC Manitoba's Radio Noon.

The Foodgrains Bank is a coalition of charities that work to help developing countries meet emergency food needs and work toward long-term solutions to hunger.

Toews says people who visit his sunflower field can take pictures or cut off a couple flowers to take home. (Submitted by Sonya Toews)

"People are giving and it's producing a harvest that is continuing to grow in other countries with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, so it's very, very positive," Toews said.

There's something special about a field of sunflowers that fills the hearts of people who come by to visit, the farmer says.

"It's a nice big, bright yellow, yellow plant, and I don't think you can help but smile when you're in a sunflower field. So it's definitely a positive place to be. And that's what people need," he said.

But it won't be there for long, due to the dry summer.

"The sunflowers have deep roots. They're able to search for water that way, but when it's so hot outside, the flowering part of the season is much shorter," Toews said.

"I'm expecting by the following weekend there's going to be much less sunflowers available."

If you want to go snap a selfie before the flowers are gone, look for the Co-op Gas Bar in the town of MacGregor — about 120 kilometres west of Winnipeg via the Trans-Canada Highway. The farm is a kilometre east on the service road.

Toews is asking people who visit his sunflower field to donate to Canadian Foodgrains Bank. (Kamp Photography )

With files from Marina von Stackelberg

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