If you see an unusual number of cars on Highway 14 in Autaugaville in July, especially several with out-of-state plates, there’s a good chance they’re headed to The Sunflower Field.
“There was a lady that come yesterday from Tampa, Florida,” said Todd Sheridan, owner of The Sunflower Field. “She said, ‘I’ve read so much about it, I just had to come for myself.'”
Sheridan’s farm has become a tourist destination in July thanks to the 500,000 sunflowers he plants on 25 acres. This year he split the plantings by two weeks so that the blooms would be spread out over the entire month of July.
“The most difficult thing is to get them to come up out of the ground,” Sheridan said. “Once you get them up, it’s not too difficult.”
This is Sheridan’s fifth year planting sunflowers, but only his fourth year making them available for public viewing and picking.
“It got started growing grain for a company that was going to crush oil out of it,” Sheridan said. “They were on a major highway so I knew there was going to be people wanting to take pictures, so I left some gates open, and then some guy took a picture and sent it to a news station, and some guy comes down and takes a video, and one thing led to another, and here we are. It’s turned into an event.”
Sheridan said he’s had to quit his job for a month each summer to focus full time on the sunflowers.
“I don’t know if I’ve been able to take it all in yet,” Sheridan said. “Every year it gets more and more, but that’s OK. We’re enjoying it.”
The farm is located at 3301 Highway 14 W. in Autaugaville. It is open from daylight until dark daily as long as the blooms last. No pets are allowed. Professional photographers are welcome, but there is a $20 per session charge for use of the field.
Sunflower blooms are available for purchase. Individual flowers are $1 each, or you can purchase a souvenir bucket for $10 to take home as many flowers as you can fit in the bucket. Flowers in grow bags are also available for purchase at $3 each, 2 for $5 or 5 for $10.
For more information, contact them on Facebook at The Sunflower Field.