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Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunflowers, Agriculture and Audubon

"The Derwood Farm"
6x8" oil on canvas

It's hard to tell from the point of view of this painting, but the yellow on the left of this farm lane is a huge field of sunflowers.  It was such a beautiful sight driving down the road this past summer, and there's an interesting story behind it too:

The New Jersey Audubon Society (NJAS) has a program where NJ farmers grow sunflower seeds in support of the society's program called "Support Agricultural Viability and the Environment", or S.A.V.E.  - the Derwood Farm is one of nine farms in the state growing sunflowers for S.A.V.E.

The S.A.V.E. initiative promotes the production of agricultural products that are economically and ecologically sustainable. Revenue from the birdseed benefits New Jersey farmers and directly supports NJAS's conservation mission. For every 5 acres planted for birdseed, NJAS manages and maintains 1 acre of grassland habitat for threatened and endangered birds.

Farmers participating in the project not only grow the seeds, they also process and package them, cutting out the middleman which of course helps the farmers even more.

S.A.V.E. birdseed is available for sale at many locations throughout the state including Sergeantsville Grain & Feed.  Check the NJAS's website for a full list of retailers and more information about the program.

And now go feed some birds!

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