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A farmer planted 2 million sunflowers to make 2020 a little less terrible

Published Sep 9th, 2020 3:55PM EDT
sunflower field
Image: Thompson Strawberry Farm

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  • A Wisconsin farmer decided to plant flowers over 22 acres of land in the hopes of spreading some cheer in a terrible year.
  • Scott Thompson planted more than 2 million sunflowers and countless other flowers across his farmland and welcomes visitors to enjoy the blooming plants.
  • The response has been so positive that Thompson says he plans on continuing the trend next year.

2020 has been a pretty terrible year no matter where you live. Political upheaval, societal injustices, and of course a worldwide pandemic are all contributing to a general feeling of unease among all of us. But there might be one place on the planet that won’t make you want to curl up into a ball until the year is over, and it happens to be in a Wisconsin farmer’s field.

Scott Thompson’s farm is located in the southeastern corner of the state, and it operates as a “pick-your-own” affair with strawberries, raspberries, and pumpkins, based on the season. This summer, he decided to take things in a different direction and planted flowers, including over 2 million sunflowers, across 22 acres.

“We just did it … and we just kept building,” Thompson told CNN in an interview. “As the season went on, the pandemic never went anywhere … and we thought people might be looking for something to do, and what a great way to social distance and … smile, basically.”

The fields of flowers are absolutely massive, and roughly one-third of them are yet to bloom, so there’s still plenty of happiness to expect in the coming weeks. You can see the stunning photos on CNN. Along with sunflowers, Thomas filled fields with Mexican sunflowers as well as wildflowers. As you might imagine, it’s a pretty cheery place to be on a sunny day, and people have flocked to the fields for their own dose of happiness.

Those who visit the farm are welcome to take up to a dozen sunflowers home with them, helping to spread the cheer to homes across the region. With 22 acres worth of flowers, there’s plenty of room for people to come and enjoy the blooming plants while still maintaining a safe distance from other visitors, making it the perfect pandemic hangout.

But while the pandemic helped inspire Thompson to plant the massive fields of flowers in the first place, he says the response from the public has been so overwhelming that he intends on continuing the trend in years to come, regardless of the pandemic eventually being halted.

We’re all looking for reasons to smile this year, and they are coming few and far between. A farm filling its field with flowers might seem like a small gesture, but it’s having a big impact on people. It’s a great reminder that there are things we can all be doing to make life a little less stressful for our fellow humans, we just have to know where to apply ourselves to make that happen.