The Berks-Mont News (

Annual Elverson dance of the sunflowers open to the community

Owner of Please Wash Me Carwash announces sunflowers are blooming, ready for free picking

By Carol Quaintance , For Digital First Media

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rick Frey, owner of Please Wash Me Carwash, 1 Yingst Dr., Elverson, announced that his sunflower crop is blooming and ready for free picking to the community.

People are traveling down Route 23 and just near the Chester County line making a turn past the car wash where a field is awash in the brilliance of tall yellow heads that look like big bright smiles.

“Every year this is my gift to the community,” said Frey. “Two local farmer neighbors help me. Gary Stoltzus preps and fertilizes the field which is right next to the car wash, then David Mast sows the sunflower seeds and the wait is on.”

“Last week they were growing high but still showing their green heads. The amazing thing about sunflowers is that their heads follow the sun which rises in the east and by sundown, their daily dance completed, they are facing in the other direction,” he added.

He waits and watches and when they bloom in all their glory the dance is over and they stay erect.

Frey has been doing this for years and if you go to his Facebook page ‘Please Wash Me Car Wash’ you will see hundreds of likes and people posting their pictures.

“With all the sad things in today’s world, I like to think of this plot of the good earth as a place where people can come for serenity and peace; it started as a way for me to draw attention to the business which gets blocked by the cornfield but it has taken on a life of its own,” he said.

There are literally thousands of sunflowers in the field. Photographers come, bridal parties come to get their wedding pictures taken there. Some just want to bring cheer and happiness to a church picnic or a supper table.

Thursday, July 28, Jessica Shepherd from Honey Brook was in the field with her 11-month-old baby picking sunflowers.

“In 2011, I picked the sunflowers, my favorite flower, for my wedding and reception flowers. I come back every year and get them. This year I was excited to bring my baby with me for the first time,” Shepherd said.

In the field with four children was Celia Riffey also of Honey Brook. The kids Gabriel, Zane and Ridley Riffey along with Alina Griffith were going deep in the field reminding one of a scene from the Wizard of Oz.

Beside the flower field people can also find wild Queen Anne’s Lace growing which adds beauty for floral arrangements.

When the crowds have gone after two to three weeks and the flowers start to frown and sag, Frey said the field becomes flooded with gold finches come to eat their fill of the drying sunflower seeds.

“Some people will take them home and hang them upside down and draw the finches to their yards and homes to eat the seeds,” he said.

“The invitation is open to all. Come for the beauty and get away from politics, and the ugly face of ISIS, relax. A free gift of the heart,” he added.

Sunflowers are planted annually. Next year the dance with the sun will begin anew.

Follow Please Wash Me Carwash on Facebook for the announcements.