To Slow Down Speeding Traffic, Abbe H Planted Sunflowers

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By Jill Brooke

Because it’s National Plan a Vacation Day, here’s a story that encourages travel and is both funny and resourceful. 

Sheep farmer Abbe Hoare was so annoyed by speeding motorists zooming by her New Zealand home that she decided to plant 47,000 sunflower seeds near the roadside of her farm to make people literally stop to smell the sunflowers. “I wanted to slow the traffic down,” she told the publication Stuff proudly. “No one ever stops at this railway crossing.” 

Not only are cars slowing down, but the sunflowers are making her rethink her business. She’s selling cut flowers as well as opportunities to visit the farm to take pictures. In fact, JetStar used the sunflowers in a promotional TikTok video and now she’s been inundated with people contacting her wanting to visit. Natch, she plans on expanding her flowers and using them to help people appreciate nature.  Cool right?

Like many farmers, she embraced diversity in planting and had planted chicory and plantain crops to feed the lambs. But now the sunflowers have created both buzz and success and fresh opportunities.

In fact, the lifelong photographer has also supported rural women in the health space before becoming a farmer. Her partner builds fences and they are raising two young children – which explains a concern about speeding traffic. And as we know, flowers are good for your mental health as well. Hopefully others will also be inspired by her ingenuity.

Photo Credit: David Unwin/Stuff

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