Visit Yolo launching viewing guide to see Yolo County sunflowers

The Visit Yolo sunflower viewing guide helps visitors to make a plan to see – and respect – local sunflower blooms. Photo by Steve Beckley/Courtesy photo

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By Tiffany Dozier Special to the Express Every summer, enthusiastic visitors flock to Yolo County sunflower fields, hoping to capture the perfect sunflower selfie. In doing so, some of the visitors’ trespass on, trample and trash private land ­— and damage a valuable county crop. As blooming season approaches – typically mid-June to mid-July – the Yolo County Visitors Bureau is being proactive. Visit Yolo has launched the ultimate guide to viewing the Yolo County sunflower bloom on their website. The guide features sunflower education and guidance on how to safely see sunflowers while preserving farmers’ livelihoods. The webpage, www.visityolo.com/sunflowers, suggests fun viewing events, provides do’s and don’ts, and explains the importance of respecting Ag land. It also allows flower fans to sign up for a sunflower newsletter and receive updates on the bloom timeline, events, tours and more. Activities are still being planned, but there are several options so far. Turkovich Family Farms and winery offers several sunflower-themed events, including a field pass and private wine tasting, a floral workshop, a kid-friendly cookie-decorating activity with wine for adults, a paint-and-sip, and a brunch. Park Winters has a pick-your-own-bouquet experience. SacTown Bites provides a Woodland sunflower tour with bees, brunch and drink pairings. There will be activities at The California Agriculture Museum in Woodland, The Hive in Woodland, Berryessa Gap in Winters and other wineries. The website will be updated as details solidify. Visit Yolo launched the web page and newsletter to highlight special experiences for the sunflower season, to better serve visitors, and boost local businesses hit hard by the pandemic. It encourages visitors to incorporate Yolo County farm-to-fork restaurants, wineries, breweries and shops in their plans while visiting. Hotels have been particularly hard-hit, and many have discounts and package deals. Terry Selk, executive director of Visit Yolo, said it’s fun to celebrate the area’s prominent sunflower bloom. “It’s also an exciting opportunity to support our farmers and the agriculture community, and show all ages what it means to be a good steward of our land.” Sunflower viewing tips: • Be a conscientious visitor, parking safely on public roads, not private property. Parking and trespassing violations are costly. • Stay off the fields and away from the irrigation canals, which are all private property. • Avoid picking the flowers. Sunflower bouquets are available for purchase at the Davis Farmers Market on Saturdays, as well as at florists and other shops. Sunflower facts: • California has about 70,000 acres of sunflowers — mostly in the Sacramento Valley. • Some 95 percent of Yolo County’s sunflower harvest is sold as seeds to be planted around the world to produce high-quality sunflower oil. That’s why the flowers are left to dry on the stalk. • Fields include male and female flowers. The males are the smaller ones. • Appropriately named, sunflowers continually turn their heads in anticipation of the sun. To learn more about the Yolo County sunflower bloom: www.visityolo.com/sunflowers.

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