And that vision bloomed. In 2014, Kelley and Nelson began growing
sunflowers, selling them at produce stands around Springfield. The
initial success bolstered their resolve to create something greater, and
the sunflower festival concept was born.
Why sunflowers? “Sunflowers just make you smile,” Kelley says. Who can argue that logic?
Wednesday, July 28 marks the start of Golden Grove Farms’ sunflower festival.
The format provides something for everyone, and includes access to the
sunflower field for perfectly curated social media posts, flower
cutting, games and crafts for the kids, and shaded picnic areas. Gloves,
pruners and baskets are provided to cut the flowers. The Nichols
encourage festival-goers to bring along bucket with water to get the
flowers home in mint condition. A potting bench provides an ideal spot
to bundle your flowers with rubber bands, or you can grab a vase and
create your arrangement before you go. Additionally, Nelson and Kelley
are proud to raise funds the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through the
Picnic meals are welcomed, but should you forget the basket back home
on the kitchen counter, no worries. Provisions on-site include
beverages, chips, cookies, trail mix and ice cream. Interested in
watching the sunset on a field of flowers? You can do that, too, and
enjoy live music while you do so.
Booked musicians include The Shandies,
Uke 66, George Lenzi, Scott Duncan, The Missing Man Trio, Amy Marrone
and David Hinson. Artists play daily from 6 to 8 p.m. Keep an eye on Golden Grove’s Facebook for updates.