Central Texas sunflower farm hosts military families for Memorial Day

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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WEST, Texas (KWTX) - The dry weather this season had a local flower farm worried.

However, thanks to recent rains, the sunflowers over at Western Belle Farm in West peaked just in time for Memorial Weekend.

“Earlier in April it was very dry, and the sunflowers...we were very worried they weren’t going to turn out, they were just going to be very small,” said Brianna Harp, an employee at Western Bell Farm. “Then we got some rain and they grew and they look very pretty, they even turned out a lot taller than we thought they were going to be.”

In honor of Memorial Day, the small business let active duty military and veterans in for free and their family members got a discount.

“Without the veterans, without everybody in the military and all that, we would not be able to do this,” said Harp.

Sunflowers symbolize faithfulness and loyalty--a fitting flower for Memorial Day which recognizes the most loyal men and women of all--the ones who died for our country.

“I lost six, including my Captain,” said Waco U.S. Army veteran Carlos Figueroa. “It’s a time to remember who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and all the wives and sons and daughters who lost their parents and whoever was up there in service, it’s pretty important to me.”

Figueroa was one of the many veterans who spent the day at Western Belle Farm.

“One of my best friends, Sean Reynolds, he passed, and out of remembrance for him our first son was named after him,” said U.S. Army veteran Thomas Ellis.

Ellis said the best way he could spend Memorial Day was by spending time with his family.

“It’s a time to both remember them (the fallen) and enjoy what they fought so hard for,” said Ellis. “So we’re just enjoying our time and our freedom and what was fought for us.”

And there’s lots to enjoy at the farm owned by Taylor and Brandon Huffman.

From ziplines to a petting zoo, to round bale rollers and barn slides, to cattle-drive train rides and a bubble station...there’s activities for all ages.

“We’ve got stuff for the whole family to do,” said Harp. “Everybody says the ziplines or the slides, they are the biggest things that people love--we’ve had an 80-year-old go down the slide and on the ziplines.”

But the biggest draw are the thousands of sunflowers, which are perfect for picking to take home and for taking photos in the field.

Visitors can pick their own sunflowers for $1.50 per bloom.

Guests can also buy fresh-squeezed lemonade, snow cones and food on-site.

The farm’s Sunflower Festival runs through June 26.

They plan to expand and offer even more activities when they open as a pumpkin patch in the Fall.

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