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Sunflowers in Ukraine

Making It Grow Minute Extra logo

Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine. a major agricultural crop, until recently grown on one hundred sixty million acres, and most of it processed for oil. Some think the Ukraine flag represents a blue sky over a field of yellow sunflowers. It became symbolic for independence when Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons at the former Soviet missile base, and flowers were planted there on that occasion. This year’s plantings have mostly been destroyed by Russian activities -the outlook for planting this year is bleak. The European Union usually imports two point our million tons of Ukrainian sunflower oil a year, income that will be lost. Here’s a curious fact behind the great importance of sunflower oil in that country’s cooking, the Orthodox church once prohibited the use of butter in cooking during lent but allowed sunflower oil.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.