Lawrence, Kan. — The sunflowers at Grinter Farms in Lawrence are about to pop open and could be a perfect photo opportunity for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
But this season comes with a new warning from farmers: Please, leave your clothes on.
Before heading to the field, the farmer’s wife shared some guidelines for visitors, so FOX4 went to look into the rumored trend of photoshoots with sunflowers that include the parts where the sun don’t shine.
At Grinter Farms, the black oil sunflowers that were planted in July are expected to hit their prime over the next few days.
But this year, farmers posted a new rule online, one that has gone without saying in the past: “Don’t get naked.”
Here’s a breakdown of all of Grinter Farms’ guidelines:
- The field does not have business hours, but the farm asks that nobody visit after the sun goes down.
- Dress appropriately; nudity is not allowed.
- Try to come at an “off time” to avoid traffic issues. The farm suggests weekdays or mornings.
- Do not pick any sunflowers.
- If a profesional photographer uses the field, consider making a donation to Grinter Farms.
- Do not use Grinter Farms for a photography advertisement.
- Be respectful of Grinter Farms crops.
Here are some additional things to know before heading to the farm:
- There are no public restrooms.
- Do not park on the street, it is not safe.
- There is no cost to go to the field, but there’s a red tip box if you are feeling generous.
Popularity of farms like this one have skyrocketed through word-of-mouth and during the Instagram Era. But the tradition of visiting is generational.
“I like sunflowers. We’re from Kansas, so we enjoy coming out here. We haven’t made it every year but we’ve made it out several times,” said Shirley Perry, visiting from Topeka.
But she’s not planning to break Grinter’s newest rule.
“Yeah, I don’t think I’d want to do that,” Perry said with a laugh. “Those things are scratchy.”
Farmer Ted Grinter said the concerns spread out of the UK where another sunflower farmer raised the alarm.
But there is a question of if this is actually a trend or an internet story blown out of proportion.
“I’m worried about that. We talk about it, ‘Well, they did it. Let’s do it.’ I’m hoping that doesn’t manifest itself in letting them think they need to do it,” Grinter said.
But there is one type of clothes-free guest welcome: dogs.
Cookie the pug came for a visit with owner Loren Harrell.
“A lot of people come out and do photoshoots in the sunflowers because they’re just that beautiful,” Harrell said.
Grinter Farms has been planting sunflowers for over 40 years, and crowds flock to the Lawrence farm every year to see the massive blooms.
Sunflower peak viewing time will start Labor Day weekend and last the following 8-10 days. The timeline for peak viewing shortens the hotter the overall weather is.
“I really hope that people respect that just because it is a family affair. But we’ll see what happens,” Harrell said.