Day 311 - The Sunflower is valuable from an economic, as well as from an ornamental point of view. Every part of the plant may be utilized for some economic purpose. The leaves form a cattle-food and the stems contain a fiber which may be used successfully in making paper. The seed is rich in oil, which is said to approach more nearly to olive oil than any other vegetable oil known and to be largely used as a substitute. In prewar days, Sunflower seed was sometimes grown in this country, especially on sewage farms, as an economical crop for pheasants, as well as poultry. The flowers contain a yellow dye.
Day 312 - It forms one of the well-known crops in Russia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, India, Manchuria and Japan. The average acre will produce about 50 bushels of merchantable seeds, and each bushel yields approximately 1 gallon of oil, for which there is a whole series of important uses. The oil is produced mainly in Russia, but to an increasing extent also in Roumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland. In 1913 some 180,000 tons of oil were produced, practically all of which was consumed locally. The oil pressed from the seeds is of a citron yellow colour and a sweet taste and is considered equal to olive oil or almond oil for table use. The resulting oil-cake when warm pressed, yields a less valuable oil which is used largely for technical purposes, such as soap-making, candle-making and in the art of wool-dressing. As a drying oil for mixing paint, it is equal to linseed oil and is unrivalled as a lubricant.
Day 313 – Sunflowers, when the stalks are dry, are as hard as wood and make an excellent fire. Those who undertake to grow Sunflowers should, however, bear in mind that the ash obtained from the plants after the seed has been harvested is, owing to its richness in potash, a manure of considerable value, so that it is really wasteful to use up the dry stems merely on the domestic fire; it is of more advantage to make them up in heaps on the ground, burn them there and save the ash. The ash should either be spread at once or stored under cover; if left exposed to rain, the potash will be washed away and the ash rendered of little manurial value. It can be used with advantage for the potato or other root crop in the following year, being spread a little while before the crop is planted
Day 314 – Sunflower seeds have diuretic and expectorant properties and have been employed with success in the treatment of bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and colds, also in whooping cough. A tincture prepared from the seed with rectified spirit of wine is useful for intermittent fevers and ague, instead of quinine. It has been employed thus in Turkey and Persia, where quinine and arsenic have failed, being free from any of the inconveniences which often arise from giving large quantities of the other drugs.
Day 315 – The seeds of the large-seeded varieties of sunflowers are much liked by Russians and are sold in the streets. Big bowls of Sunflower seeds are to be seen in the restaurants of railway stations, for people to eat. Roasted in the same manner as coffee, they make an agreeable drink, and the seeds have been used in Portugal and Russia to make a wholesome and nutritious bread.