By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The first item of business in October’s Grafton Green Thumbs meeting was to recognize outstanding achievements in sunflower cultivation.
With the season past and diligent measurements taken in their annual sunflower challenge, Joan Stover made the announcements Tuesday.
The youth division saw a tie for the tallest sunflower, with Emma Mackenzie and Huxon Tinney each growing a 10’10” specimen. Huxon was too young to be up as late as 7:30 p.m., and Emma was sick, but young Destin Caunie did attend to collect his prize for the sunflower with the biggest head (his was 15” wide). Destin is four – or at least that’s how many fingers he held up when someone asked him his age – and he declined to stick around for the rest of the meeting.
His older sister Chloe got an honourable mention for a sunflower head that was 14’5” wide. Other youth division participants deserving of honourable mention include Willow Bangs and Savannah Bangs.
The prizes were $50 gift certificates from the Grafton Co-op, two of which were collected by the adult-division winner – Elaine Amenie won first place for both the tallest (11’6”) sunflower and the one with the biggest head (at 14” across).
Stover singled out other adult participants who did an outstanding job, such as John Wilson (with an 8’6” flower), John Roraback (8’6”), Christina Wilson (9”) and Alex Borowik (10’2”).
Stover said this year’s sunflower challenge drew 100 participants. This compares to 140 last year – but then they had to hold the awards ceremony outside in October 2021. This year, regular indoor meetings can be held, so the announcements could be made prior to their October 2022 meeting.
Looking ahead to October 2023, Stover predicted an even bigger and better sunflower contest.