A family-owned farm that has been running since 1975, Buttonwood Farm is not only known for their fresh ice cream, but also for their sunflowers. Each year, the farm plants around 14 acres of sunflowers, which creates over 300,000 blooms, and these are sold in order to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation of Connecticut, which is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children who are suffering from life-threatening conditions.
The History Behind the Sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm
Buttonwood Farm planted their first acre of sunflowers in 2003, and soon realized how attention-grabbing they were after visitors travelled from far and wide in order to see and photograph them. The next year, the farm expanded their sunflower fields to 10 acres, and soon increased this again to 14, introducing in the charity aspect rather than feeding the expired blooms to cattle.
Sunflowers for Wishes
Currently, Buttonwood Farm has raised over a million dollars for the Make a Wish Foundation over the past 13 seasons, all through their sunflowers. These flowers are available during the summer months, while supplies last, with bouquets of five sunflowers being sold in exchange for a donation to the Make a Wish organization. In order to maximize the amount of money raised, the farm does not allow visitors to pick their own and instead have a stand from which you can purchase your flowers.
Sunflower Photography Guidelines
With acre upon acre of bright yellow sunflowers, it comes as no surprise that the majority of visitors to the farm come complete with cameras, as the sight is a splendid one to see and photograph. However, in order to ensure that the fields and flowers are kept free from damage, the farm has put together some photography guidelines that visitors must follow, which can be found on their website. This includes always staying on designated paths, not using any props or lighting equipment, and not climbing on the historic stone walls, or on any farm machinery. For professional photographers who are taking pictures for monetary gain, a permit does need to be obtained and a small fee paid, but all of this money once again goes straight to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Visiting the Farm
Buttonwood Farm is open every day from 10am until dark, but the sunflower season tends to be around the end of July. While it may be too late in the year to view the sunflowers this year, this is an annual event, so you have plenty of time to plan your visit for next year. The flowers tend to have a two-week blooming period, but, as always, this depends on the whim of the weather, so do check out the farm’s Instagram page for the latest when it comes to their sunflower status.
For those visiting Connecticut during the summer months, Buttonwood Farm is a great place to spend the day. While you are there checking out the sunflowers, make sure to stop by at their ice cream shop for a taste of some of their famous farm fresh ice cream.