Despite our erradic weather in the Chicago-area this summer (6 inches of rain in one day and golf-ball sized hail, anyone?), things like sunflowers have done really well. The ones growing in my parkway have received a lot of attention from both people and gold finch. Because I have contaminated parkway soil, I won't eat those sunflower seeds. But, if you grow yours in safe soil, take note.
Harvesting your sunflower heads for seed saving or eating should be done will the heads are fully in-tact but the heads look like they are dead. KidsGardening.com gives great, detailed instructions for your most successful harvest - with or without kids! Find out more here. Good luck! And don't forget to save some of those seed heads for your neighborhood wildlife.
Moulin Rouge and Mammoth were our sunflowers of choice this year. Share the variety that you grew in the comments section below.