Wisconsin farmer creates 22-acre sunflower oasis to help lift spirits amid COVID-19 pandemic

BRISTOL, Wis. — With happy thoughts in short supply, one Wisconsin farmer decided to brighten as many people’s days as possible by adding a new crop to his fourth-generation family farm: sunflowers.

Since 1969, Thompson Strawberry Farm in Bristol has offered guests apple, raspberry, strawberry and pumpkin picking, depending on the season. This year he added more than 22 acres of sunflowers to the rotation to both encourage families to spend more time outdoors – in a socially distanced environment – during the novel coronavirus pandemic, WITI reported.

“The one thing I love about this job is everybody is happy when they come here,” owner and fourth-generation farmer Scott Thompson told the TV station.

The roughly 2 million sunflowers, minus the cuts visitors are encouraged to take home, are spread across more than 15 fields and expected to remain in bloom through September.

Thompson told CNN that he and his wife decided spreading a little happiness might be just what people need as they struggle to cope with pandemic-era restrictions.

“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,” Thompson told the network.

“We get all these comments on Facebook, or if I’m out in the field, everybody is like, ‘Thanks for doing this,’ (and) ‘This is what I needed.’ People are so happy to be out there and have a place to go,” he added.


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