Green shoots appeared in the vegetable garden.
At first I thought they were zucchini.
They grew bigger.
I thought they might be pumpkins.
They grew taller.
They were sunflowers and neither my farmer nor I had planted them.
How did they get there?
Could birds have dropped seeds?
New Zealand’s biggest producers of sunflowers for birdseed operate in North Otago. BIrds eat a lot of seeds before harvest but the nearest paddocks were miles away and the plants weren’t even in flower.
Then I noticed the chocolate lab we were dog sitting sniffing close to the sunflowers and starting to dig.
That reminded me I’d had a lot of salad left over from our staff party in December and when it got past using I dug it into the garden.
One of the salads had been sprinkled with sunflower seeds and a few of them must have germinated.