Grower determined to grow sunflowers after losing previous patch

‘It’s hard to see your crop destroyed’

We all have been there: you put all of yourself into a project only to see it wiped out in what feels like seconds. That happened to Kevin Gray, the owner of Hickory Creek Farm in Guilford County, North Carolina. But, instead of giving up, he was even more determined to make this year’s sunflower patch happen.

“There is a fair amount of investment, and it’s hard to see your crop destroyed in a short period of time,” Gray said. “But it’s worth it to see the smiles on the faces of families when they come out to have a good time.”

Last year, it took deer two nights to wipe out Gray’s sunflower patch. Instead of giving up, he gave it another shot and fortified this year’s sunflower field. “We’ve tried everything you can think of: fences…electric fences, different scents, bar soaps, human hair around the patch, and noisemakers,” Gray said.

He also planted another one-acre sunflower field just for deer. It’s clear the deer enjoyed their meal because only tiny sunflower stalks remain. “This is what’s left of a sunflower stalk. They just ate it off right at the ground level. They will pull this out of the ground,” Gray said.

With the deer eating the sunflowers in one field, the other field was left to bloom, hitting its peak this weekend. Along the way, people have enjoyed stopping by to see the sunflowers and even taking some home.

“I think it’s just getting away from all of the problems in life and being able to enjoy nature, enjoy the beauty,” Gray said.

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