Sunflower Days at Rader Family Farms

The unwelcome arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020 brought lots of hand-wringing. Was it safe to go anywhere? How could folks retain some level of normalcy amid the massive lifestyle upheaval? Rader Family Farms wasn’t sure if it would be open for its fall season, but the farm couldn’t wait to plan. In fact, the Raders calculated that people would be eager to get outside for some fun. And with a 60-acre playground, the farm offered plenty of room for social distancing.

Thus, instead of thinking small, the Raders created a 2-acre sea of sunflowers and invited guests to experience the beautiful landscape for Sunflower Days. The August event included pathways and picture spots among the giant flowers. The Raders have always enjoyed pushing beyond traditional options, whether they are growing pumpkins or sunflowers. So they planted more than just the well-known tall yellow plants. There were also sunflowers with fiery red or white blooms and sunflowers that grew in short clusters.

Over the past four years, this has become a tradition at Rader Family Farms, with 15 sunflower varieties and a zinnia field in the ground for this year’s Sunflower Days from 11am to 5pm Aug. 12-13 and 19-20. Following that event is another event, the Farmstead Fair, which returns for its third year from 10am to 3pm Aug. 26-27. That pop-up market draws over 100 vendors from across the Midwest who showcase their unique jewelry, handmade goods, and antiques.

That leads into the farm’s celebrated fall season, marking its 15th year, which runs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 29. Two big additions to the 50-activity lineup are planned, and the farm will, of course, be serving up its popular pumpkin donuts, apple cider slushies, and meals. New this year, on Dec. 16-17, is a Christmas at the Farm event.


Look for details on these events at or on Facebook or Instagram.

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