Waialua Sunflower Fields are in full bloom
WAIALUA, Hawaii - Get your cameras ready, it's sunflower season in Hawai'i.
Thousands of big, bright yellow sunflowers are in full bloom at Corteva Agriscience's farm in Waialua. The company is offering free public tours starting Thursday, July 11. The sunflower fields have grown into a social media sensation, attracting visitors from all over the world.
"We started growing the sunflowers as part of our quality control process for our farmer customers around the world," said Alika Napier, production location manager for Corteva Agriscience. "But it's [the sunflower fields] attracted a lot of people over the years and they just kept coming out to take photos and selfies for social media. So we decided to open it up to the public.
Farmers started planting seeds back in May. They grow about five different varieties of sunflowers across 20 acres of land that was once used to grow sugar cane.
"It's pretty strenuous," said production coordinator, Kaikala Carvalho. "After about four weeks of planting the seeds, it takes us about 50 to 60 days to flower. From there, it usually takes another 30 days until the seeds are available to harvest. We don't do any harvesting here in Hawai'i, but they [farmers] do on the Mainland. The seeds are collected to make sunflower oil."
The sunflower fields are located at 67-173 Farrington Highway. You can stop by weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you want to see them, you'll have to act quick, the tours end on July 20.
Admission is free, but parking is $5. Proceeds benefit local non-profits and schools in Waialua. It's recommended you wear closed-toe shoes, bring sunscreen and medication if you are allergic to bees.