Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

What a great treat any time of the year, a mid-day snack at work, something to munch on when your out for a hike, kickin’ back relaxing by a camp fire, yep I could have a handful of sunflower seeds just about anytime. It’s even a greater satisfaction when you grow, harvest and roast your own.

So you grew the flowers, they are standing several feet tall and drooping over and the seeds look just right, now what do you do? Time to harvest! The first thing you need to do is just cut that stalk off right behind the flower and get it down there where you can work on it.


Now go get you a pair of gloves, I did this last year without gloves and had blisters all over my hands and fingers. Just tear off a piece of that sunflower head and while holding over a bowl push and rake your hand over the seeds, you have to press pretty hard because they are in there good.




Once you get all the seeds out of the flower you will have to sift through there and dig out the pieces of the flower that fell in your bowl.




To prepare your seeds for roasting, soak in a brine mixture for 24 hours. Put in enough water to cover the seeds mixed with about a 1/2 cup of salt. You will have to put a small plate or something on top of the seeds to keep them under the water. When you are done soaking the seeds spread them on a towel and take some paper towels and press on them to get them as dry as possible.




Spread the seeds evenly on a pan trying to not overlap them on each other. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake seeds for about 20 minutes.




That’s all there is to it, now your ready to snack!



I like to package them up with my FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System a couple handfuls at a time and store them up so I can enjoy them throughout the year. This helps to keep them dry and fresh and really handy whenever you want to grab a pack real quick.


I hope you enjoy your Sunflower Seed Harvest.

Happy Homesteading!





Homesteader, Blogger and Podcaster at Small Town Homestead
I am a husband to Mary and father to three daughters. My family and I are striving to become more self sufficient everyday as we grow our own food and pursue a more natural and organic lifestyle.
Posted in Articles, Gardening and tagged , , , , , .


I am a husband to Mary and father to three daughters. My family and I are striving to become more self sufficient everyday as we grow our own food and pursue a more natural and organic lifestyle.


  1. Great post! I am now going to have to get my hands on a food saver!
    Christmas will come early hopefully.


  2. Interesting post! My daughter (8) always grows sunflowers every year, just for fun. We never do anything with them. I just showed her this and how easy it is to roast them, so now she’s wanting me to go out and pick her sunflowers and try it. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  3. We planted sunflower seeds from a neighbor’s crop but none came up. I thought they were easy to grow.

  4. I just adore sunflower seeds! I grew some beautiful ones last year, but unfortunately a day before I was going to harvest them, the squirrels found them. 🙁 I didn’t plant any this year – mother nature did… from the squirrel harvest! The heads are small, but I intend to get the heads harvested this year before the marauders do!

    • I had some reseed as well and they grew much smaller flowers too. I think the mammoth sunflowers must be a hybrid that doesn’t reproduce the same. Good luck getting to them before the squirrels, the birds are my nemesis ;).

  5. I’m not much of a sunflower seed fan any more…but our chickens sure love them! We totally forgot to plant some this year too and hear about it almost every day from our 3 year old. ha ha Thanks for sharing!

    • I like to sprout the black oil sunflower seeds for the livestock, they love the fodder and it’s really healthy for them and also cuts back on feed costs. Your 3 year old probably already knows that though…lol 🙂

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