Cabot, News

Marshfield Couple in Third Year of Spreading Sunflowers’ Message of Peace

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photo by Vermont Plants Sunflowers for Ukraine
Sunflowers planted by Vermont Plants Sunflowers for Ukraine are outside the Waterbury Fire Department.

MARSHFIELD – Dale and Janet Newton expect to distribute more than one-million seeds to Vermont libraries, schools and businesses that the public can then plant around the state.  They are almost finished distributing sunflower seeds this season for their homegrown solidarity initiative, Vermont Plants Sunflowers for Ukraine, which they started more than two years ago to show support for Ukrainians after Russia’s invasion. 

They selected the sunflower both because it is the country’s national flower and because it has a long symbolic history in the country as a message of peace.

This spring is the third year that they’ve recruited businesses, libraries and schools across the state to carry free sunflower seeds in their community action group’s personalized packaging that individuals can grab and plant in solidarity with Ukraine.   

Last year, they distributed roughly 1 million seeds, almost double what they gave out in their first year. “Our big success this year is we’ve more than doubled the number of (participating) libraries,” Newton noted. 

Seeds can be picked up at the organizations identified in the list of 2024 supporters at vtsunflowers4ukraine.org/vpsu-supporters

Dale Newton is a former Hazen Union High School English teacher.

Sophia Keshmiri, VTDigger

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