Thursday, 18 June 2015

Sunflowers of the Black Sea

Kuban Steppe. Russia. Photo by Simon Raven
When visiting the Black Sea in the summer months the beautiful sight of vast fields of sunflowers is a breathtaking spectacle. According to statistics collated by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the world's top sunflower seed producers in 2012 were Ukriane with 8.39 metric tons and Russia with 7.99 metric tons. Grown predominatly on the Pontic and Kuban steppes on the north and eastern shores of the Black Sea, this region was once an ocean of wild grassland that was inhabited by nomadic tribes of horse bowmen who would rear cattle and trade fur and slaves for olive oil and wine with the ancient Greeks.

Following an expedition driving full circle around the Black Sea with my brother in the summer of 2013, these beautiful yellow flowers will forever remind me of the kind people we met during our journey who inhabit the six nations that surround the Black Sea's colourful shores.

by Simon Raven, Chris Raven

Order your copy online from Amazon and all major book retailers. ISBN 9780954884284.

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