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Fran Walker and Kylie Evans run Two Girls Farm, a floristry and sunflower field business along Back Miranda Rd. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Open season for Hauraki sunflower farm

Two Waitakaruru dairy farmers are sharing their field of sunflowers with the rest of the district, in a gesture that’s bound to put smiles on faces.
Kylie Evans and Fran Walker run Two Girls Farm, a floristry and sunflower field business along Back Miranda Rd.
After opening for the first time to the public last year, they were pleasantly surprised to find people as “happy” and “giddy” about the flowers as they were.
“They’re so big and bright and lovely,” Fran said. “We drive past them every day and it’s amazing how quickly we’ve been able to watch it grow from a paddock of grass into these big, yellow sunflowers. It’s cool we had the option to do this.”
As friends, flower fans, and dairy farmers, the sunflower venture started out as a side hustle for the pair, which fit in well with their farming operations.
“Sunflowers need the temperature in the soil to be about 15-16 degrees, so as soon as you hit that, it’s about the same time maize gets planted for us dairy farmers, so we knew we couldn’t really bugger it up,” Fran said.
“Because we had the planter coming in to plant the maize, they could literally plant the sunflowers at the same time.”
This year, they are encouraging guests to spend time among the blossoming aisles – by bringing blankets and lunch or dinner and enjoying the surroundings.
They’ve added props to take photos, such as a tractor and a swingset, and have also installed picnic tables and umbrellas for people to sit in the shade.
A point of difference this year will be the offer of pony rides on January 3 and 4, between 5pm-6pm.
“It’s such a good family friendly thing to do and there’s nothing else in the Hauraki area like this, where you can spend the day or a few hours and not have to pay too much money,” Fran said.
“And the kids love exploring through the sunflowers and choosing which ones to pick,” Kylie added.
DETAILS: Two Girls Farm will be open this weekend as Waitangi Day, 10am-7pm. Entry is $5 per person with under 5s free. The field at 243 Back Miranda Rd is also open for private hire during the week for those wanting to have exclusive access. People are encouraged to bring their own secateurs and the cost is $2 per sunflower stem. For more info and opening dates find Two Girls Farm on Facebook.