An article by The Globe and Mail discussing how social media has potentially devastated the Bogle sunflower farm in Ontario has myself and many other individuals reeling.
The Bogles’ family farm consists of breath-taking fields of colourful and vibrant sunflowers which, prior to now, was open to tourists to enter and take photos in. The Bogles’ were charging $7.50 an adult for entry to their farm, and at first, the family found an increase in visits to their farm to be a positive thing.
Over time, however, crowds increased in volume, and the Bogles’ were forced to hire eight staff members and bring in porta-potties to accommodate for their visitors. As word about the Bogle farm spread, visitors began showing up the farm before 6am, clogging traffic on the road the farm is located at and causing accidents and fender benders in the process.
Overwhelmed with the surplus of people, the Bogles’ kindly asked arriving visitors to leave and were faced with insults and threats from tourists. Hamilton police ended up arriving at the scene to assist the Bogles’ in controlling the crowds, and at one point, there were roughly 7,000 cars parked along Safari Road.
The Bogles’ have had no choice but to shut down the public viewing of their crops. Sunflowers are incredibly fragile, and if lower leaves are damaged in the fields, the plant becomes vulnerable to drought and disease. Due to the excessive volume of people trespassing in the Bogles’ fields, despite their request for visitors not to do so, they won’t know the severity of the damage done to their sunflowers until harvest begins in the Fall.
Similar situations involving sunflower crops have also occurred in Winnipeg.
The main reason so many people turned up at the sunflower farm? To take a selfie for social media.
It is positively disgusting that so many people were so selfish about a picture that they willingly trespassed and damaged the hard efforts done by the Bogles’. This type of behaviour demonstrates the lack of respect so many people have for farmers and those who provide for us, and I sincerely hope those who were involved with this damage are held accountable.
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