This afternoon I decided that the day had come to cut down the Sunflowers. Two of the smaller heads had already fallen off, and the big ones looked like they could go at anytime. So, I went out with my pruning shears and lopped of the smaller ones, and Blaine had way fun chopping down the bigger ones machete style.
I had read that you could just put the heads in bags and the seeds will fall off in about a week, but I'm a little impatient so I started breaking the seeds off of the smaller flowers. That got tedious REAL quick, so I put the head from the two bigger ones in bags to hang in the laundry room to see if they'll dry.
The seeds that I pulled off were beautiful though. I like the colors and the different patterns of stripes. And they taste good too. I have very vauge memories of eating sunflower seeds fresh from the flower with a friend when I was younger, but I didn't remember how much different they taste. They're kind of creamy and nuttier than roasted seeds--maybe as a result of not being dried?
I think I am going to try to roast some, though. I'm soaking them in a salt brine right now--I think, in absence of specific instructions, I'll let them soak for a few days and then roast them in the oven and see how they do.
I'm also going to save some seeds for next year. I s'pose common sense would say if you don't have much space you should grow small varaties, but the giant sunflowers were worth every inch they took up (and most of the space was vertical anyway). I definitely want to have more next year.