A Visit to a Sunflower Field Is What Everyone Needs This Summer

Where to find Fish Sunflowers’ free fields and what to expect when you get there
sunflower field in Monticello on a sunny day

All photos by Katie Ballalatak

Who knew that public sunflower fields courtesy of Fish Sunflowers were going to save Minnesota’s summer? They are an unexpected savior, I’ll admit, but oh so needed.

It all started with Johnny Fish, who has been planting sunflower fields in the north metro area for over five years. This year, he decided to plant 10 sunflower fields and open them up for the public to enjoy—”no donations, no admissions, and no politics,” as it says Fish Sunflowers’ website. In fact, Fish Sunflowers has only a few requests: that people spread the word, share in the positivity, and post photos to social media.

How to Find a Sunflower Field

Fish Sunflowers sign at Monticello sunflower field

Originally, my fiancé, Dale, and I were planning on visiting the sunflower field in Rogers. It was due to a quick Facebook search to confirm the location that I learned my first bit of advice: Always check the public Facebook group to make sure that the field you’re headed to is open for visiting! You can also sign up for email notifications to really make sure you’re in the know. After learning that the Rogers field was closed, Dale and I changed our trajectory and headed to the Monticello field instead. It was definitely more of a trek than we were initially planning but spoiler alert: It was so very worth it.

When You Get There

I naively thought that not a ton of people knew about the fields and that it would be a quieter excursion over all. I was wrong. At the Monticello field, a whole field was dedicated just to parking and the lot was nearly full! Despite the full lot, the fields themselves were not overly crowded, allowing for easy social distancing.

The Best Part About the Whole Thing 

No one can see a large field of sunflowers in full bloom during a 70-degree sunny day and not be filled with absolute joy. Families brought strollers and donned their little babies with sunflower headbands. Friends headed to the fields for beautiful portraits, probably meant for Instagram. Photographers wandered around, getting close-up shots of the flowers. The best comment I overhead was from a photographer taking photos of her friend: “Oh. My. Gosh. How are you SO CUTE?!” There’s nothing better than seeing friends supporting friends, kids smiling genuinely for photos, and couples wandering through the paths, taking in the yellow glory.

We probably only spent a grand total of 20 minutes at the field, which—considering the 50 miles we drove to get there—may seem like a waste of time. But instead, I left feeling satisfied, hoping that I would remember how light and happy I felt surrounded by sunflowers.

Other Practical Information

The fields are open from sunup to sundown. For smaller crowds, try going during the week. Because the fields are located on private property, Fish Sunflowers asks visitors to respect the closing date of a field. Head to fishsunflowers.com for open fields and estimated bloom times.

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